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New Noise with Jenny Schlax
updated: Nov 09, 2012, 10:16 AM

By Jenny Schlax

Focus. Focus. Focus.

It's easy to get overwhelmed by choices or sucked into a showcase - but my mantra: "focus, focus, focus." And that ain't easy with so many good showcases during the New Noise Music Festival.

So I made a plan.

I started at SOhO, where I planned on seeing Leftover Cuties, a rag- time indie band from LA, and managed to take in "Awkward" Little Indian, SB's little songstress, as well. The venue had seats tonight, which was a perfect arrangement for taking in soulful artists. With a piano player that also played the accordion & trumpet, sometimes all in the song, and a vocalist that sounded transported from the blues era, Leftover Cuties wove their way into the audience's hearts.

I managed to make my way to Muddy Waters where I planned on catching Kevin Seconds (of 7 Seconds), and managed to catch Wilson Gil (of DTEASE) as well. I was so glad that I did! This is where miracles of festivals happen, when you fall in love with an artist you did not intend to see. Wilson was the ultimate sleazy heroine sheik modern day punk rocker. Complete in a slick suit and greasy hair, he lamented about doing too much crack on a dirty mattress to rapid punk rock rifts then smashed his guitar, and it was instant love.

The last stop was at Whiskey Richard's where I planned on taking in The Reverend Payton's Big Dam Band, a heavy alternative bluegrass punk rock trio. I wasn't sure if the last part of my plan was going to pan out, but I am so grateful it did. The Reverend played "bass" with his thumb while plucking the guitar with his fingers & glaring at the crowd like an angry beaver, as the mean but lovely washboardist (yep) clucked around the stage like a hen giving him the stink eye. I was in awe, and quite frankly afraid. This stop ended up being an hour and a half long as I danced around like a headless rooster in the crowd. And I wasn't the only one in the barn yard.

It really does pay to have a plan.

Photo: Wilson Gil set post guitar wreckage.


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