I’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating: I’m not a very good music fan. Sure I write one or two posts a week on the topic here, but I don’t really buy CDs. Or go to shows. So it was definitely out of the ordinary on Saturday when I trekked out to Williamsburg and the Galapagos Artspace to see the band Auxiliary House. I got there early, early enough so that I was clearly the only person other than the Galapagos employees who was not either in the band or a friend/relative of the band. The band was either milling around, setting up the merch table or intently focused on reading the new Harry Potter book. Clearly not to be disturbed. So I ordered a drink and waited as more people filed in. When the curtains opened, the stage was completely full of people and instruments. I haven’t seen a people-to-stage space ratio like that since I saw George Clinton in high-school, and he came with about 40 people.
Eleven people in all, crammed onto a stage clearly built for half that number, with enough instruments to supply an entire elementary school music class. And the music that came from the stage was just pure country-rock energy and ensemble joy. The band, all transplants from others on the North Carolina-based Trekky Records, broke between songs to chat with the audience, to trade instruments and rearrange themselves, “Yahhh!”ing their way across the stage (an imitation of Howard Dean’s meltdown yell, one band member explained). The extra-long set (the opening band had canceled earlier that afternoon, I learned afterwards) was welcomed with open arms by the ecstatic crowd, who danced in front of the stage and shouted encouragement up to the performers.
Clearly, my childhood dream of concert photography needs a little work, but I think you get the idea. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a picture of my favorite moment: the “Peanuts Christmas Special”-esque “Ooooh oooh” singalong the entire band did at one point. After the show, I had a chance to talk to a couple band members about the tour. Things I learned:
– The band has no real plans to record a full-length album anytime soon (which is a damn shame, since they obviously had much more material than their 4 song EP and it all sounded great).
– Traveling up and down the East Coast with 10 males in a converted schoolbus can get kinda gross. Especially without air-conditioning.
– Hand-sewing and printing 150 CD packages doesn’t take as long as you’d think, but it’s still a lot of work.
– Venue owners in Baltimore can be shady, especially when they can only be contacted by text message. And when it’s unclear whether their venue still even exists.
So if you get a chance to see Auxiliary House live, you should go. And in the meantime, before they put out a full-length, check out these songs and head to their myspace and website.
Auxiliary House – Don’t Look Away Auxiliary House – Forklift
posted by Adam