This weekend represented a moment of renewal for a number of student bands. For one, on Thursday, the Japanese, now featuring plaintive songwriting and Adrien DeFontaine ’13’s new hairdo, returned to activity after a long hiatus. Also, Grand Cousin (who I do remember, bawwwk, was once called Grandfather) has perhaps made the ranks this weekend as hardest-working or most persistently present Wesleyan band, what with their two appearance on concert headers and avant-garde new music video. Also, Featherwood Bee (on Thursday) continued being awesome, and O Presidente continued to prove that they can’t keep themselves away for long after their debut album release.
One of the few outsiders thrown into this mix was Jacco Gardner, the NPR-acclaimed Dutch producer and multi-instrumentalist, and his bandmates, who played on Friday night. Their music was soothingly atmospheric, balancing on the historical cusp between mid-60s mod rock and late-60s psychedelia. Songs like “The Ballad of Little Jane” had just the right amount of creepiness, and reminded me of the Rolling Stones in their Brian Jones era. Jacco was endearingly sincere, expressing gratitude to the crowd and excitement for their adventures in America (it was their first time playing on this side of the pond) and imminent trip to SXSW. The drummer wore sunglasses indoors, which I can both respect and suspect for a lad from the pot-soaked Netherlands.
Click through for some video of Johnny Love and the Heartmen from A-Batte ’13 and some jumbled-together photos from me (Eric Lopez ’15‘s set makes for a more complete document).