Last Night: Olin and the Moon, Wires on Walls at Alex's Bar

Last Night: Olin and the Moon, Wires on Walls at Alex's Bar
Lilledeshan Bose
The Hype: Because of Olin and the Moon's numerous residencies at the Echo and Spaceland, we were pretty interested in checking them out at Alex's Bar in Long Beach. They were playing with fellow alt-country buddies Wires in the Walls, who just released an EP a few weeks ago. It was destined to be a banjo/slide guitar fest.
The Show: 

It seemed appropriate to watch both bands at Alex's Bar -- mostly because that place keeps it really real and devoid of hipsters  When listening to really proficient alt-country-- the kind of thing you want to hear in a car while driving up North -- your best bet is to stage it in a dive bar.

At first I was worried that Olin and the Moon's harmonized set would be characterized by an excess of guitars playing open chords. There was, after all, a slide guitar, a banjo, and at least five guitars onstage.

But their set of sountrack-ready songs flowed surprisingly well -- lead singer David LaBrel sounds a bit like Soul Asylum's David Pirner, but the songs echo a little more Neil Young than I'm used to hearing on hipster stages.  His brother, lead guitarist (playing a lone star Telecaster!)  also sported an irony mullet and a jean jacket --  he looked like he should be in a metal band, but instead sang like David Crosby on harmony.

So yeah, it was an inevitably pleasing, low-key set. Wilco fans will love it, and I predict that they'll eventually end up on some Gray's Anatomy-type soundtrack at some point.

Wires in the Walls  mixed up its new wave inflections and gave it an alt-country frame. They also played with a euphonium -- which I couldn't really hear, to be honest. They had an awesome manager who lent me his camera when my battery died. While Wires in the Walls doesn't sound quite as polished, you can tell its members work really hard on their songs and their lyrics. I can't wait to see them after they've hit the road.

Last Night: Olin and the Moon, Wires on Walls at Alex's Bar
Lilledeshan Bose

Overheard: "It's honest, I guess," from some guy who was watching two girls dance non-stop during the croonfest.

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