Tonight was the last show of Shindig’s first round, the winner completing the semi-final lineup. In this final separation of wheat from chaff, the first to perform was the Stereo Three. The band played enthusiastic punk rock, and their friends in the audience seemed to have a good time. I am going to describe their sound as forgettable, though, because beyond that, I have pretty much forgotten what they sounded like.
Next up was a definite change of pace: SundayTrucker was comprised of older, surly-looking rocker dudes playing sludgy, down-tuned hard rock. The singer did a reasonable version of the braying, marble-mouthed vocal delivery typical of late ’90s Eddie Vedder imitators, but it all seemed a little out of place.
Shindig is nominally open to any genre of music, but it tends to lean pretty heavily in the indie rock direction. In any case, SundayTrucker didn’t go over well with the college radio types, but the longhair contingent was suitably amused, and the band did hit a sort of plodding stride by the end of their set. Having more or less delivered on their promise to “rock [their] way straight to hell,” SundayTrucker gave way to US US US.
Now, there are criticisms to be levelled at these youngsters: their lack of cohesiveness and overly ambitious musical ideas resulted in a confusing mess most of the time, and the guitarist resorted to some truly embarrassing Shaft-style funk riffs, ratcheting up the cringe factor. The heck with it though: these kids were just so goddamn precious that I should probably just stop being a grumpy old bastard. Sorry, Language Arts, but US US US just won the cutest band at Shindig 2008 award. They had parent-roadies, for crying out loud! Oh, and they also won the round, so if you like cute stuff, you should try to catch them in the semis (if you can tear yourself away from Puppy Cam for long enough, that is).