» Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]


 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum

September 19, 2006
Tucson is a strange bird when it comes to live music. It has several sweet clubs and attracts some great bands, but it's hit-or-miss in terms of community interest. Case in point; I recently saw Art Brut at Tucson music staple Plush and the place was packed to the hilt. Last week I went there check out another rising indie band, Cloud Cult, and there were maybe 20 people in attendace. Go figure. I've lived here 5 years, and it's always been a point of frustration for me. Granted I'm not expecting the kind of turnouts my ex-hometown San Francisco had, but come on folks, support the cause! One counterpoint was raised by my friend Daisy, who mentioned that at least it's real easy to get a drink. I guess every Cloud Cult has a silver lining.

The show started with Midwestern band Decibully. They began strong with a slow moving song that built nicely. The singer's voice, along with the sparse instrumentation, was reminiscent of another band that recently played down the street to a packed Club Congress, Band of Horses. The Decibullies, however, could not sustain the opening drive and lost any sense of cohesiveness; from the third song on they sounded fairly generic. The second act was another Midwest outfit called Headlights. Comprised of former Absinthe Blind players, the foursome was made up of guitar, drums, keyboards, bass and occasional accordion. Male and female vocals were shared, sometimes alternating, other times with terrific harmonies. I recently reviewed their debut album and was pleased to discover that they're even better live. They had a palpable energy that propelled each song into the next that was somewhat lacking on the record. Though Headlights is a new band they seemed very comfortable on stage, perhaps derived from their collective experience in prior bands.

Shortly after midnight Headlights made way for headliners Cloud Cult. The setup on stage was immediately intriguing: a cello, some guitars, lots of keyboards, a drum kit and an easel. Yes, an easel, like for painting stuff. The Cult came out and opened the show with another curiosity: Bob Dylan's "Tambourine Man." My two-cents on covers is that if you're going to do someone else's work, please make it unique; if I want to hear an exact rendition I'll listen to the original. Cloud Cult scored big points for taking a 60's staple, adding some 80's dance beats, turning up the smallest laser light show I've seen, and singing it quite beautifully. When they got around to their original material, it was even better. At that point the artist began her painting in earnest, and everyone kicked off their shoes, except for the bass player (what a stiff).

Cloud Cult sound great on record, and like Headlights, are even better live. They captured the waywardness of their sound perfectly and are all very talented musicians. Even though the crowd was scanty they played their hearts out as if it was sold-out. (I've seen many groups do that, and it's one of the enduring qualities of bands at the club-playing stage). After nearly an hour of great songs and a completed painting, they bid farewell and offered to sell the painting to the highest bidder. I'm not a big fan of mixing live music with performance art, but in this case it worked well, though I refrained from bidding. Overall it was a fantastic live show from a very engaging band. Hopefully they'll be back to this little southwest enclave and the packed joint will be hopping to the eclectic energy of Cloud Cult.

SEE ALSO: www.cloudcult.com
SEE ALSO: www.headlightsmusic.com

Ari Shapiro
A staff writer for LAS, Ari Shapiro mixes up pretty unique smoothies at XOOM in hot Tucson.

See other articles by Ari Shapiro.



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