Little Brave, Phonolux, The Whirlybirds, Pageantry
$5 (18 and over)
8pm Sat, Jan 26
502 Embassy Oaks
Saturday's concert at 502 Bar is one of those nights when the stars align for an offer you can't refuse: good sound, lights, and bands. In spite of their radically different styles, Little Brave and Phonolux share the same aesthetic ambition and musical ability. Here's an overview of the reasons why you should stop by 502 Embassy Oaks this weekend.
Wound & Will, a masterful breakup album, was my favorite regional recording of 2011. The Wild EP (2012) was a strong (and happier) reminder of her talent as a singer-songwriter.
Each Little Brave concert is a big event that mixes set design, music, theatrics, dance and, sometimes, even confetti. Don't expect your usual low-profile singer-songwriter stuff (though there's absolutely nothing wrong with that) — Little Brave is anything but predictable.
Originally, the Wild EP was the first of three EPs to eventually become a full-length album. But, "More than likely I'll be releasing a full album this year," she said. "It will be completely new material. I love albums and I'd always rather put out more music than less!" There she goes again.
"This will be a new set up," she said. "I'll be solo but I wouldn't consider the show acoustic. I don't want to give anything away. Just know that it's a completely new show and I'm excited about building on it as the year progresses."
"I want to be a bitch/I want to live with all my heart/I want to finish what I start/and then rip it all apart," she sings in "Under Wings," one of the high points in the gorgeous Wild EP.
Both Phonolux (2009) and Nashville Fires (2012) made my year's end Top 10 list. Though different, they're examples of solid songwriting and musicianship. Edgy pop with a late-Beatles' feel.
The multi-instrumentalist foursome usually switches instruments in the middle of a song, but that's about to change. "We no longer move around throughout our songs," said Buddy Calvo. "I guess we might if we decide to play older songs, but we haven't really discussed that."
The third album is being recorded at Austin's Public HiFi Studios (owned by Spoons's Jim Eno) and engineered by Brad Bell (Arcade Fire, Spoon). It will be released as an EP in April and the full album in October. "It is a shift in our sound and needs to be thrust upon the public slowly," said Calvo.
"Half the set will be new material, maybe four to five songs," said Calvo. "We've been playing them recently but each show they change, as we are still figuring out the perfect arrangement."
"We don't have the draw that other bands do, but musically we are very confident that we are doing something that we can be proud of," said Calvo. "We don't have a lot of flash or gimmicks to stand behind — just the music."