Live Review: Januar at the Walnut Room
Being a native of Littleton, I felt an immediate affinity for Januar while researching their Myspace Music page. Their profile was incredibly straightforward. From: Littleton (who owns up to that?); influences: Jeff Buckley, Mojave 3, Sigur Ros; band name is Icelandic for "January," and they're wearing woolly beanies in their thumbnail picture. In the rest of the photos -- even through minor line-up changes -- they look like best friends forever. Often with their arms around one another and ear-to-ear grins across their glowing faces. "Januar in Pittsburgh '06...1st tour ever." More than anything, they looked primed to win the battle of the bands in a dramatic, underdog One Crazy Summer fashion.
Seeing them on stage a few hours later, however, I mostly thought of a favorite old pair of pants. Not a specific pair, it was just that everything about their presence was soft and comfortable. The music may not have been my size, but the musicianship was no poly-blend. Januar played lush, penetrating music that paid fine homage to their listed influences and generated more texture than most three-pieces are able to (plus they didn't get mad when the drummer dropped her sticks, and, like best friends, they traded guitars from time to time). Sealing the deal: there wasn't a shred of irony in their cover of Alan Parsons Project's, "Eye in the Sky." Januar took that ‘80s dust bunny and made it shine like a new dime, Littleton style.