The scant attendees wander through the three or four open rooms of Serendipity Artspace, San Antonio’s latest repurposed house/art gallery, marveling quizzically at the bits of Jackson Pollock-inspired work lining the walls. I’m told the show was supposed to have been held outside, but a lack of patrons allowed them to move the spectacle indoors. Singer-guitarist Deborah Scheibler seems unperturbed by the small turnout, she introduces drummer Gabriel Medina, and then quickly fires off their first two songs, “Idiotic Moments” and “The River.” The former is a relatively poppy number with a memorably punctuated chorus, while the latter displays a softer, albeit less indelible approach.
A lone child begins dancing unceasingly at the start of the third song, “Struggle,” having infinitely more fun than most of the audience. The blasé reaction of the few onlookers gives the show a dinner-performance or coffee-shop feel. The lack of engagement with Daydreamer’s set falls less on the shoulders of Scheibler than Medina. Scheibler’s cool, natural vibrato is absolutely squashed by Medina’s un-dampened accompaniment. A bit of reprieve is granted to Scheibler on “Fly Away,” when Medina dons a conga, hitting the cymbals barehanded when appropriate. It’s the best song thus far, as well as Scheibler’s best guitar work. The melody accentuates wonderfully the softer, airy side of her vocal range.
“Gotta Get Out of Here” is a particularly safe song for Scheibler, with a vocal pattern that doesn’t stray too far out of her comfort zone. A predictable chorus unfortunately bogs down her cleverly written verses. Certainly Scheibler has the vocal talent to experiment more wildly with the way she structures her patterns. Thankfully, the drums are entirely more reserved throughout this song. Unfortunately, the drums during “Yellow Head” are not, serving mostly to emphasize key points of the awkward verse riff, which doesn’t do the song any favors. Scheibler announces beforehand that this is her favorite song, and while it’s definitely the biggest departure from their earlier material, it’s also their biggest departure from what Scheibler does best. The song gets completely carried away towards the end, with the cacophony of percussion rendering the melody inaudible.
They follow with “All Things New,” my favorite of the evening. The mood is altogether more relaxed, with minor keys casting looming shadows over Scheibler’s soothing tonality to near-haunting effect. What’s more, the beats are quite distinctly and suitably well-written. Closer “Flowers and Dragons” isn’t necessarily a drop in quality, either. It features the same awkward picking structure as “Yellow Head,” but the key is considerably more pleasant. Medina switches back to the conga to end the song, serving as a lasting reminder of just how great the set would’ve been if that were his primary percussive instrument in these small rooms. •
Friday, August 13
1908 N. St. Mary’s