On September 10 MOTR Pub will host a very special (and free) concert by a NYC-based band that uses three instruments—guitar, upright bass, and drums—to create a rich and colorful soundscape. Big Lazy doesn’t play a lot of notes, yet their music spreads out like a wide-screen Technicolor movie that opens with a shot of a desert sky that seems to go on forever. The soundtrack you’re imagining as you listen to Big Lazy somehow combines a rural setting with a noir narrative. It only makes sense that the leader of the band, guitarist Stephen Ulrich, has composed music for HBO series Bored to Death and the film Art and Craft. If you attend the show, you’ll hear echoes of Ennio Morricone and Henry Mancini, but in a different context. Their music should sound lovely in an intimate setting like MOTR Pub. The opening act will be Cincinnati’s re-energized Tigerlilies, who have been on a roll lately with live shows and new music, some of it in the form of cassettes! Sounds like a good night to check out the merch table. Here’s a video of Big Lazy playing Elephant Walk:
The Tigerlilies are a Cincinnati power-pop band that’s been together almost 25 years. During that time they’ve countless shows and recorded several full-length releases. When I first saw them they were playing Sudsey Malone’s during a period when short Vine was hopping. Already they showed evidence of tight songcraft, good live energy, and an ability to combine pop melodies and rich harmonies with crunchy rock n’ roll. Everything they’re able to do live comes through on their studio recordings, and their latest, In The Dark, is solid from start to finish. Their chief influence (and they’d be the first to tell you) is Cheap Trick. At times I hear echoes of other bands as well – The Ramones, Big Star, and (on “Pull You In”) REM. Just to throw in one arcane reference, the background vocals on “Green Eyes” make me think of a French pop group named Indochine, who are (or were, at least) huge in their native country but not so big here. People I’ve played them for have usually found them too sugary for their tastes. I’m a fan, though, for the same reason that I like the Tigerlilies: their albums string together one well-crafted pop melody after another. In The Dark can be purchased online at cdbaby.com or at Shake-It Records. From the album, here’s “Sweetheart.” It may sound nice on your computer or your phone, but another thing I like about the new Tigerlilies release is its rich, layered sound, so grab the CD to get the full experience.