October 25, 2005

Emergency Umbrella is a collective operating out of Columbia, Missouri, and putting out great music. On Saturday, October 22, the first ever road edition of an Emergency Umbrella Showcase, featuring The Foundry Field Recordings, Paradise Vending, and Witch’s Hat. I was able to attend the shindig, which went down at Frederick’s Music Lounge… The Foundry Field Recordings are a great indie-pop band in the vein of Built to Spill, Grandaddy, or The Shins. I saw them about a year ago when they opened for Riddle of Steel at the late, great Rocket Bar, when they were known as Billy Schuh and the Foundry and they were great then. They have only gotten tighter with time. I figured they would be playing last but, alas, they played first at 10. They started things off with a cover of “Wave of Mutilation (UK Surf)” as a quick sound check. After that, they play about 40 minutes of perfectly great indie rock. St. Louis needs more bands like this – not garage/punk, not screamo, not alt-country, but just guitar/bass/drums-pop-song-playing-well-executing bands. We’re getting there, every day, though, so that’s comforting.

I had never seen Paradise Vending before, but was familiar with their songs through various channels. They put on a good show. Probably the most conventional of the three bands that night.

As it turns out, I know two the members of Witch’s Hat from college. They were younger than me, and this was a revelation I only made recently as I was randomly checking out bands on MySpace. They played last and drew the largest crowd. Well, the crowd got closest to the stage when they played, at least. They definitely have good stage presence and put on a good show. They were a little ‘heavier’ than the other bands, with a certain affinity for dungeons-and-dragons-style metal peeking its head through every now and then.

Check all three of these bands out if you get a chance, and be careful when drinking cheap-ass Stag draft beer. It’ll leave you feeling like hell in the morning. ‘Course, that also could’ve been been the Uncle Bill’s breakfast I had at 2 in the morning….

The Foundry Field Recordings – Buy/Sell/Trade
Paradise Vending – Sea of Tranquility (sample)
Witch’s Hat – Space Baby

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