Local showcase: Bucks, Gallants, and Folks...

Folkskonde and Bucks and Gallants
at Plan 9's Outer Space
Sunday, February 15

 This year's WTJU (91.1) Rock Marathon– that all too brief week where the daytime opera and banjo playing becomes hours of groups like Talking Heads and Mountain Goats– featured more than just run-of-the-mill public frequency bliss.

Sunday afternoon was the Rock Marathon's opening showcase of local bands, and this Saturday will find the basement of Tokyo Rose hosting a Benefit Dance Party featuring DJs Rob Sheffield, Brian Campbell, and Elizabeth Stark. On the following Saturday, February 28, the same venue will feature the Benefit Closing Party and Concert, which is currently working on booking bands described as the "next big thing" by Andy Miller, one of the Marathon directors.

Sunday's showcase was held at Plan 9's Outer Space– a large vacant room in the back of the store normally reserved for extra record storage. The show featured the local talent of Folkskonde, YOU, The Make-Out Twins, Bucks and Gallants, and VHS and the Babies. Because of bronchitis, a fever, performing in a ghastly short set (guess which group), and having to leave early on account of the aforementioned physical maladies (not including the set), I'm going to be able to review only two of the acts, but Good Lord!– the sounds they threw out more than justified the admission price. This– now that I think about it through the feverish fog of my memory– was nada.


Folkskonde was up first, probably my favorite act in town now that Ted Stryker's Drinking Problem has met its untimely demise. This group of six (three guitarists, a keyboardist, a drummer, and a bassist-­ and they switch instruments with dizzying regularity) has been playing around town since I first saw them at the end of last summer.

My oh my, have they gotten good. Performing– and a practice regimen of "playing the same songs over and over," in the words of guitarist Adam Smith– have made the group quite the young demons on the local rock circuit. Featuring songs like "Answering Machine," with its pop piano intro to ending rock opera crescendo, and "Clay Clay," with a disco-beat chorus and Steve Miller type break-to-guitar solo, the group has a set of moving-and-shaking tunes that go on and on.

Saturday was the first time I've seen Bucks and Gallants, a part punk/part modern New York sounding entourage, but I was pretty blown away. I don't know where these gentlemen have been hiding, but I wish they'd come out and play more often.

Drums, guitar, keys, and a singer– who also played keyboards at certain times when the mood struck him– constituted the group's stage setup, allowing them to produce a sound that emphasized the drummer's talents for shifting between speeds and times. New Wave keyboard parts meshed with riffs that ended too soon, and the singing/screaming cowboy-shirt wearing singer just took each song's pace in stride.

Although I'm unsure of how much WTJU made from the show's bake sale table and donation pandering, I know Plan 9 made out like bandits– between sets, the store was packed with show-goers, browsing their time away.

Bucks and Gallants