Let us just take a moment to commemorate the rise of The Beauty Shop. From a hot weekend venue hang-out to a largely innovative cafe, to an incredibly innovative cafe that also serves as a venue -- we recognize the effort. Thank you to every soul who's made The Beauty Shop what it is today. If it weren't for the teamwork that forged The Beauty Shop from the woodwork, tonight's fantastic line-up may not have been. Please, keep doing what you're doing. The large influx of creative individuals that pass through make for a wonderful atmosphere, be it morning, mid-day, or like tonight, a late event.
** Sadly, we completely missed Lesbian Poetry! A little too tardy to the party, some might say. Gotta love the winter season! Alas, we do apologize -- we love your catalog however, and we would recommend you to a major chunk of our readers. Find Lesbian Poetry's BandCamp Page here, where you can download "Songs for Girls", Lesbian Poetry's 10-track release. I do know this :: the dude's got some great audience energy -- I think every band addressed him in one way or another. Pretty solid guy.
Photo: Will Oelschlaeger
Actually, we arrived right as The Olympics, a long-time favorite of ours, were setting up for their Fairfield debut. The first two or three songs went off without a hitch; the newly-added lead-guitarist added a new flavor to the group and brightened up the already immaculate sounds -- something that we hadn't seen (to this level) in previous performances. Without any warning however, a fuzzy drone emitted from one of the amplifiers. While the band did delay momentarily (Trevor, the band's keyboard player, dazzled the audience with an impromptu classical performance), the buzzing would prove to be relentless. After multiple attempts to resolve the issue, the band proceeded with their set. Astonishingly, this noise added such a lo-fi kick to the already jangly formula of shoegaze-y alternative sounds that The Olympics provide, that in all honesty, it sounded fantastic. Had to slip some 'Captain Captain Industries' stickers in their merch' box -- a little note that we were there. Can't wait until The Olympics return for their summer gig. We'll be waiting! (This link will give you all you need to be a future fan!)
After The Olympics finished their set, Des Moines' own riveting progressive soul group, Christopher the Conquered, set up in no time; notable for the amount of technical-related attention one would usually give to a group that packs their own brass weaponry. We had actually seen Christopher the Conquered play at a previous Sweat Power Festival, and absolutely knew we had to stick around for the entire bill. Even with the self-deemed genre 'progressive soul', it's virtually impossible to accurately describe what this eclectic crew of individuals bring to the table. With improvisations abound, including a birthday shout-out to Dominic Rabalais, Christopher the Conquered brought one of the most original compositions of music that we had ever seen. Christopher himself was a gentleman -- he carried himself with a relaxed, modest confidence, and furthermore, he let us in on an album for 'what we had in our pockets'. And I haven't even mentioned the trumpet-player. Fantastic people - you catch this group in your city : see them. No questions asked.
(Get a nice peek inside a live performance in Ames, IA : Maintenance Shop.
Finally, three-piece alternative-electronic ensemble - Surgery - took to the stage in what would be a grand finale of the incredible amount of talent that was Friday's version of 'Sweat Power'. Another group that really pushes themselves to new limits, Surgery can only be described as perhaps a modern, sexier answer to the dark-wave bands of the 80's with a much 'bigger', 'fatter' electronic section. I know off-hand that this group was created recently, especially when compared to most of the bands that grace through The Beauty Shop. However, Surgery build on a chemistry between singer Joseph Mayfield's wild passion for performing, Dominic Rabalais' grand-master beat wizardry, and Joey Del Re's eerie, daunting guitar tones that couldn't be fabricated by another. May have been one of their best performances. Hats off to this rising trio.
All in all, a mind-blowing night. Met some really cool people, and helped expand our vision of where we would like to see Captain Captain Industries go in the future. Take the time to further investigate these bands to find out if they are as good as we say, or if we're just some crazy dreamers with no sense of taste and a blog. Have a great weekend, everybody. Stay tuned for more interactive features between us, the writers, and you, the best readers one could ask for.
From the desk of,
Captain Captain Industries