Desario @ Old Ironsides – October 7, 2005

It was a typical Friday night at Old “I” this past week, with the action starting off with a band called “Desario”. The act is comprised with members of past Sac bands The California Oranges, Holiday Flyer, The Sinking Ships and Rocketship. The four piece delivers melodic rock that I would quantify as a mix of The Gin Blossoms, Weezer, and The Killers.

I guess you could describe Desario as “Nerd Rock”, for they look the part, with specs (three Rivers Cuomo look a likes), plaid shirts and crooning rock songs that cry of insecurity and uncomfortability. The tempos and intensities of the songs remained constant for the most part, missing opportunities for contrast.
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As Yet Untitled @ The Blue Lamp – September 17, 2005

Friday night, I’m intoxicated to the point of assistance when walking, and I end up at the Blue Lamp. The tinsel like backdrop on the stage visually confuses me, but not nearly to the level the act I’m there to see will.

Apparently this band has a following, for the club was at capacity. This, the “CD Release Party” was an opportunity for “Yet” fans to get a listen to the album in it’s entirety live and pick up a copy.

The band came out on stage with miner’s head lamps and began their set. The immediate and relentless barrage nearly crippled me. I watched in astonishment as five grown men assaulted the audience with the most incomprehensible set of rock music I’ve ever witnessed. I swear the entire band is chemically dependent, from a bass player who is clearly on methamphetamine, to a singer, who we will identify as “Mr. Happy”, having a strong preference to cocaine.
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Stacey Raskin @ The Fire Escape – July 29, 2005

The Fire Escape in Citrus Heights was graced with the presence of one Stacey Raskin ( http://www.4amp.net/naturalmystic/ , http://www.myspace.com/staceyandhersongs/ ), a 19 year old songwriter / musician. Stacey has been playing shows for 2 years, and her blend of soulful folk could be described as finger pickin’ good.

Stacey breathes life into her songs with significant depth to her chord progressions. Combined with exquisite tones vocally, her songs could be deemed rather favorable without lyrical content. But she also is capable of delivering insightful lines of prose to complete her craft. Few artists have such a grasp of the art so young to deliver such a competent product. Stacey is truly a local artist to watch.

At times in her songs she will bend her voice to deliver hums and gasps that will make you melt. Even the casual bar patrons at the club were struck by her grace on stage. Her soul is very apparent to the audience, and her ability to take a stage and transmit herself is impressive.

Stacey’s material is far from pop oriented, rooted more in folk and jazz. Her songs have similar intensity throughout, and that lack of diversity is the mark of a newer writer who hasn’t gotten bored with similar themes and tempos. But I believe strongly that she will evolve into as serious a force on the Sacramento scene as she wishes, although the market locally is flooded with peers of similar format. But few are as talented and confident…

Ratings:

Musicianship: 8
Songwriting Prowess : 7
Stage Presence : 6

Ms. Raskin is talented. I don’t believe anyone would argue otherwise. She enjoys performing and is very likeable. Should she continue to apply herself and write with passion as her compass, she will become a staple of the Sacramento music scene and possibly more.

Radiocure @ The Fox and Goose – July 23, 2005

The Fox and Goose was decently filled for a band called Radiocure (radiocure.com) this past Saturday. The stoic atmosphere of the club was complemented with upbeat pop rock from the local act.

Radiocure’s 14 song set included pop oriented country / alternative tunes. The five piece is composed of two singer / guitar players, bass, keys, and percussion (very talented, kudos).Two to three years in age, the band is very professional musically but a bit shy in audience interaction. The band could be compared in styling to Death Cab for Cutie, The Long Winters, or Matthew Sweet, but lacking similar writing ability. The act takes their name from a Wilco lyric, and makes strides to aspire to the likes.

The double guitar attack left the keyboard melodies indiscernible. Aside from a keyed intro at the start of one song, it was not present. The mix of the club was too heavy on vocals, an area the band is not as accomplished in, as say, their overall tightness musically. The material more country in nature was better executed and more complete artistically than the rest of the set.

With one catchy, radio friendly song, the act could reach a bit of success. They have the look, the presence, and they appear to enjoy performing. I recommend seeing them, I will again. They could be an acquired taste…end.

Ratings
Musicianship: 8
Songwriting Prowess: 3
Stage Presence: 5

Overall composition was satisfactorily done; the band clearly has put in the time for preparation. But generic themes littered with cliché notations and sub-par emotion left me unaffected.