A Nod to Syd Barrett
If imitation is indeed the sincerest form of flattery, then tribute bands and shows have to be the most ego-stroking phenomena imaginable for an artist, save for a trip to the local karaoke bar if you’re in the right mood. And while the experience is usually more enjoyable if the people involved know how to sing better than your average karaoke caterwauler (although it is admittedly a great deal more amusing if the singers in question are tone-deaf and clueless about it), this fact is neither here nor there when the tribute is being made to someone who has already passed on. After all, if the person is dead, he can’t throw tomatoes at you and boo you off the stage for wrecking all his favorite songs, right?
Fortunately, tribute shows are often done by professionals who want to give the audience a good show — and Eugene is about to get one. A host of local musicians and singers are teaming up with the band Alpha Dahlia to put on the second Syd Barrett Tribute Show. The guests will include Tina and Kelani from The Ovulators, Jake Pavlak from Yeltsin, Peter Weinburger from London Flush, Nolan Void from The Decliners and Samantha Pritchard from the Soothesayers. Songs from Barrett’s days with Pink Floyd will be played and possibly reimagined by these and other performers. To add to the ambience, an overhead projection liquid light show will accompany all the evening’s performances. Get ready for a psychedelically rockin’ good time. The Syd Barrett Tribute takes place at 8 pm Sunday, Jan. 4, at Sam Bond’s Garage. 21+. $4. — Brian Palmer
That Magic Feeling
We’ve all had those moments. You know, when you do a little jig with your imaginary dance partner when you hear a saucy number coming out of the speakers of a passing car, or you’re walking down Main Street at Disneyland and you start snapping your fingers to the lively jazz music coming at you from all sides. But then you realize the music isn’t really coming from a stereo; there’s an honest-to-goodness band playing at a park just down the block. You can’t help but smile when you discover the music is live.
Flat Stanley’s sound is like a collection of those moments. The band has played a number of shows at both the Saturday Market and the Oakway Heritage Court, and chances are great you’ve heard them playing out in public and didn’t even realize it because they are so unassuming. They mix a bit of old-time jazz with lounge stylings and moments which hint at their affinity for rockabilly, but these cats generally make you want to sway rather than swing. Disney’s Main Street may be a state away, but that old magical feeling awaits you right here in Eugene. Flat Stanley and Caguama play at 6:30 pm Saturday, Jan. 3, at Cozmic Pizza. $5. — Brian Palmer
The Night Horse Gallops
Night Horse’s debut LP, The Dark Won’t Hide You, sounds like Danzig and Kiss smashed together with a tab of something psychedelic. Good, if you like Glenn Danzig’s gothic howl and Ace Frehley’s trademark arena-sized guitar hooks. But honestly, if neither of those appeals to you, or if you think of them like chocolate milkshakes and french fries — two great tastes that just don’t seem right together — you’ll probably end up feeling as if the smash-up somehow went horribly wrong. Still, if you’re going to throw darts at the heavy metal wheel of fortune to find bands to style yourself after, you could do much worse than those two.
Night Horse is playing with Ancestors; both bands hail from L.A. and share members (drummer Brandon Pierce and guitarist Justin Maranga). But back to basics. Night Horse is riff heavy and bluesy; Ancestors are equally muscular yet much more spacious. Their debut release, Neptune With Fire, just hit the streets in early 2008. It’s only two tracks, but both are monumentally long epics (17 and 22 minutes) following their metaphorical hero on a transformative journey through, according to the band’s press release, “war, celebration, remorse and revelation.” With an under-abundance of lyrics, the music guides us through excursions befitting the themes — lysergic drones, organ flourishes and extended jams where time slows and grooves form and transform organically. Night Horse, Ancestors and Tullis play at 9 pm Tuesday, Jan. 6, at Samurai Duck. 21+. — Vanessa Salvia