January 22, 2009
Live Bands Clean Up: Liam and Me and Semi Precious Weapons
at Trash! at Webster Hall
By Meijin Bruttomesso
Every Friday in New York’s Lower East Side, Webster Hall’s sultry basement is transformed into Trash!, a non-stop dance party, fueled by a mélange of bands, artsy performances, go-go dancers, and live DJ’s. While the recent holiday line-up included entertaining acts, such as “Nutcracker: Rated R” and “Madame Rosebud,” live bands remained the main attraction.
Philadelphia’s Liam and Me (Matt O'Dowd: lead vocals/keyboards/guitar, Dan Larkin: guitar/back vocals, McKenzie: bass/guitar, and Jon Briks: drums) penetrated the electro house music with their prominent pop-rock sensibilities. Drawing the crowd in with ethereal keyboard hooks, catching guitar accompaniment, and luminous vocals, LAM preserved the “trashy” ambiance despite poetic lyrics, heartfelt harmonies, and an overall crisp sound. Much of their midnight set, “There's a Difference,” “Say It Out Loud,” “Fast As You Can,” “Pretty Black Dress,” “Who Do You Think You Are?,” “Pretender,” “It’s A Shame,” “Call the Cops,” and “Don't Say a Word," will be featured on LAM’s upcoming record. An impressive live act, Liam and Me don’t disappoint on their recorded tracks that are available for sampling at www.myspace.com/liamandme. Among the band's ear-grabbing collection were top picks, “Pretender,” and “Say It Out Loud” which will be released as a single on iTunes at the end of January along with a music video. “Pretender” proves that there’s no faking an ideal pop tune. Opening keys and ringing riffs swell into warm overtones that showcase Liam and Me’s skillful instrumental interplay and poignant verses that beg for multiple plays. From the start, “Say It Out Loud’s” resounding bass lines signal impending contagiousness. Overlaid with addictively danceable beats and syncopated synthesizer melodies, this track contains qualities that scream success. Stay on the lookout for Liam and Me’s 2009 record release and explore the band’s Myspace site regularly for tour dates, album updates, and a mass of multimedia. Liam and Me offer their fans more than the typical rock band, providing valuable wisdom through “Bad Ideas: Liam and Me’s Advice Column” (liamandmeadvice.blogspot.com). Spill your best story; it could be a song waiting to be written.
Semi Precious Weapons (Justin Tranter: lead vocals, Cole Whittle: bass/vocals, Dan Crean: drums, Stevy Pyne: guitar) hit the downtown Manhattan stage in the very wee hours of the morning, supplying a short but explosive set that treated Trash!-goers to “Magnetic Baby,” “Her Hair Is On Fire,” “Semi Precious Weapons,” and a new tune, “Put a Diamond in It and Bite Down.” In a mere twenty minutes, SPW managed to whip the crowd into a frenzy, perpetuating the party until the break of dawn. The event was the perfect warm-up for their cross-country “Hell on Heels” tour from January 13 to March 16. Investigate www.myspace.com/semipreciousweapons for local tour dates, SPW gems and jewels, and for their debut album We Love You, now available on iTunes and in stores nationwide.
Liam and Me: L-R, Matt O'Dowd, Dan Larkin, Jon Briks, McKenzie
Photo Credits: Shawn Corrigan
Justin Tranter of Semi Precious Weapons Photo Credits: Meijin Bruttomesso