UMS Night Four Travelogue: The Conjugal Visits, Constellation of Cars and more
Tom Murphy The Conjugal Visits on the TS Board Shop stage
7.25.10, Baker District/South Broadway
Getting a late start, I got to the TS Board Shop stage in time to catch The Conjugal Visits. Before the show, I saw Pete on the side of the truck, and asked him about the new band, and he said it was kind of the same thing as the Nicotine Fits. The guy's too modest on both counts. Whereas the Nicotine Fits are a feral, dark garage punk like the Dead Boys, the Conjugal Visits takes that youthful energy and turns it to much more melodic music infused with soul and humor.
Tom Murphy Overcasters at the hi-dive
No doubt about it, these guys rocked out with the best of them, but the musicianship was also respectable, and the songwriting was solidly tight without losing the frayed edges that make this sort of music so compelling to begin with. Showing a lot of heart and spirit across its set, the Conjugal Visits were a reminder that they tend to build their bands strong in Colorado Springs.
Seeing as Overcasters really don't play often, I opted to check out the show at the hi-dive seeing as it was the debut of the new bass player, Samantha Doom. After having seen various incarnations of Overcasters for the last few years, it seemed like this one gelled the best for its debut and everyone seemed to feel free to be more expressive on stage than even the group's last show.
Early on, Kurt Ottaway didn't do much in the way of dancing on stage and running around, but at this point, he's getting back to the type of stage gyrations he did in Tarmints. Except with better and more reliable guitars, it has nothing so much to do with keeping the show going and working through technical problems, so much as clearly enjoying playing that music.
The projections didn't flood the room with as much light as usual, and that added a bit to the intimacy of the performance. If anything, the lights that did bathe the band in cool colors and a wash of pink, red and orange in the middle near the bass drum made it seem like we were in private club underground long after dark. Not really having seen a subpar Overcasters gig, this one still seemed a cut above most.