I’ve been wanting to find more time to write and decided to take a stand come October. I would start taking up opportunities to see new bands and get back into writing. I feel like since graduating college and taking on a full-time job, I’ve found less time to do one of my life’s passions: see and write about music, and I just cannot let that slip away. So I opened my inbox and found a message about a band heading to Bloomington called Lohio. After checking out their music and realizing some great local bands would be playing the show as well, I decided to check it out.
The lineup for October 1 at the Bishop was touring bands Donora and Lohio (both from Pittsburgh, PA) and local bands Sleeping Bag and Snaarj. I made it to the venue just in time to catch Lohio’s four members prepping for their first song. All decked out in jeans, tees, and flannels, they definitely had the look of a band on the road. They busted out in a poppy jam that I couldn’t help but bounce along to. It had a sort of psychedelic pop sound that was really set into motion by the lightly pulsating keys.
Their second tune again had a psych feel, but was more pysch-rock, driven mostly by a heavy drum and guitar presence. As they worked through their set, I became more and more impressed with the musical elements of the band. First off, they have a female bassist, which I always give points for, as I am one myself. Second, they were just very tight as a band; the drums were locked in right where they needed to be, the instruments all complemented each other well, and the keyboards just added a certain spice to the songs. I also really enjoyed the choral style vocals, where everyone sang together. It was very reminiscent of a smaller version of Polyphonic Spree or I’m From Barcelona.
And then they busted out “Family Tree”, the title track to their newly released EP. It was a pleasant tune sang in unison choir style. Yet I just couldn’t help but smile and bop, and eventually found myself singing “Got a job, found a wife made a family”…
All and all, I was impressed by the band’s melancholy pop-ness. Lohio is a band that makes enjoyable music, one can’t help but be slightly intrigued for more. After their short 5-song set, I know I was.
As for the rest of the show, Sleeping Bag was great, another Bloomington band to be excited about in 2010. The brainchild of drummer Dave Segedy (Prayer Breakfast, formerly of The Native Young and Arrah and the Ferns), Sleeping Bag evolved from Segedy’s solo efforts as Whoa Bro Awesome, when he decided to experiment with incorporating guitar parts into his music. Years later we have Sleeping Bag with Segedy on drums and vocals, supported by David Woodruff (the Delicious) on bass and Lewis Rogers (Busman’s Holiday) on guitar. I really can’t put it into words how good they are together. It’s pretty much just an all-around, good-time, garage-rock band with great musical chemistry and Segedy’s adorable voice. They had the crowd moving at song one.
I first heard of Snaarj, when they submitted a song and were selected for the 2010 Live From Bloomington album. This was my first time seeing them since LFB Club Night, and man do these guys know what they’re doing. All I can say is: prior to their set a friend asked me who was next. I told him “Snaarj, a jazz band”, he skeptically responded, “Yeah, but like real jazz??”. Let me tell you: Snaarj is real and Snaarj is jazz. It’s good, and these guys know what they are doing. Remember that next time you are ever questioning whether or not you should check them out.