The Villanelles, My Other Friend, The Rosewood Thieves Friday July 10, 2009 At The Monkey House

Words by Tim Lewis.

After a frustrating couple of weeks of my job ending and interviewing for another at Gardeners and getting it (more on that un/fortunate event later) and missing Swale because I did not notice their show at Muddy Waters until the day after, I was able to take a week off before starting the new job Monday the 13th. Job stress had burned me pretty hard and a week to relax has slowly brought me back. With this attitude I looked around and saw this show at the Monkey and on Friday morning sat at the computer to check it out.

I hit the MySpace page of The Rosewood Thieves and really liked what I heard.

I then went to the page of My Other Friend and really liked them too.

Wow, what a score. I have seen the Villanelles a couple of times and knew they could rock hard. Adding two intriguing bands sealed the deal and off I went, arriving right on time at 9.

The fairly empty Monkey House seemed to be mostly band members and bartenders but by 9:30 or so when the Rosewood Thieves took the stage a few more of us had gathered. Somehow the band was able to fit on the small stage. With a drummer, a keyboardist, a pedal steel player, a bass player and two guitar players they had a lush sound with a rock and roll edge. I was impressed with the sound as you could clearly hear each player and each voice.

They began with a drone intro that solidified into a cool song. I really love the fact that there are a bunch of bands lately that write beautiful melodic songs and fill them out with elegant touches but still have a solid rock core and have good changes. The Rosewood Thieves are such a band and I view my time seeing them at the Monkey as my beginning of understanding them rather than a culmination. Come back soon guys!

When done they slowly unloaded the stage and the next band slowly loaded it back up. I was feeling pretty good considering that I woke up at 6am that day for no real reason and had not caught a nap. The first band was on late and with the long set break I was hoping I could make it until the headliners.

My Other Friend set up as a keyboard guitar drums trio and rocked hard from the beginning. With the melody and bass played on keys and a killer drummer they made me think of Slingshot Dakota with a guitar player and a more formal style. They also reminded me a bit of Longwave in their simple straight and effective melodies played fast and furious at a terrific volume. This is a band that is a lot of fun and can kick some serious ass. What a night this was turning out to be. Two unknown bands and two complete scores.

During the break I bought a couple of discs from Rosewood and tried to buy one from Other but the drummer just gave it to me. I tried to argue but by then the Villanelles had taken the stage and were playing pretty loud. I did sign their mailing list and have put in a MySpace friend request but still feel a bit guilty about not paying. It is playing right now in the background and sounds really good. Hopefully I will see them again and find a way to support them.

The Monkey House swelled with people as the Villanelles took the stage. They obviously have friends. They had to come on hard and heavy after the two previous bands and they did so with style. The volume and energy were high and they tightly played their indie rock with determination. They have some country rock in the bass and drums but the guitars revel in the modern age.

Fun as they were I was tired. I made it for 5 or 6 songs or so and really enjoyed them. I hit that point where I had to go and began the long walk home. I was really happy I had put effort into discovering new music and felt heavily rewarded for it, and yet my heart was a bit heavy knowing how much harder that will be in the future.

This post was originally published by Tim Lewis at his personal blog,