Live Review

SXSW 2010: Abe Vigoda, Barbarella, Austin

Their music is laced with intricate sub solos, full of personality, hidden beneath the constant chording.

Abe Vigoda

is one of those bands that sound just like all the others. That is until you put in your earplugs and stand basted in the warm thumping tide pool of an excellent sound system. Their music is laced with intricate sub solos, full of personality, hidden beneath the constant chording of lead guitarist Juan Velazquez.

Really I don’t know what I would have done without those earplugs. As the waves of sound tousled my hair and waggled my chin, I was struck by how arbitrary it seems to be, the liking or disliking of bands. Vigoda, with their suburban rock and ironic t-shirts appear at first listen to represent the endless filler that pads out festivals like SXSW. But their understated presentation coupled with the virtuosic speed of delivery they display makes a startling impression on any audience willing to listen long enough to get it.

Like the ancient blues recordings that inspire generations of musicians, there is a craning of a neck to this music; an important stretching and seeking of meaning that ends, if successful, with a much fuller stomach than even the tastiest pop out there.

Bravo Abe Vigoda, and thanks for forcing us to listen, not just absorb your music like so many sun tans.

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