After four days of the music-festival equivalent of Deliverance (i.e., Bonnaroo, pig-squealing sequence included), it was at the very bottom of The Spin’s wish-list to absorb even more live music, analyze it and type it out for the masses. Our first beer tasted a little like stomach acid, and our ears too rejected the blast of drums and amplified nickel-wound strings. Unlike us, however, there was a roomful of folks at The High Watt who were apparently nowhere near their threshold.
We strolled up during the familiar sounds of Denney and the Jets, noticing that the boys have recently added a key player, thus thoroughly rounding out that bluesy, swampy barroom stomp of theirs. It feels like we've seen D and the Js about a dozen times in the past couple of months, but we'll admit that the newish "Fun Girls," with its riffing starts and stops and bends, has been getting stuck in our head a bit lately.
Anyway, apparently also nowhere near their live-music threshold was Fly Golden Eagle — even though we just caught their Bonnaroo performance four days prior. Well, whether their shit was still in the van or they’re just driven enough to keep on keepin’ on on a Thursday night, we acknowledge their grit. We also acknowledge their set’s gradual descent from ultra-psych garage-y flight of fancy to groovy blue-eyed soul in the course of six or seven songs — as well as the throng of young women who seem to gather up front every show for a sing-along, especially during FGE's ever-sexy, grooved-out set-closer "Psyche's Dagger."
Prefacing an Ettes write-up with their back story as former Angelenos is pretty moot by this point. It’s like how you dated that girl you're friends with for a month about five years ago — she's not your “ex-girlfriend” anymore. She’s just a friend. And The Ettes are just a band — now from Nashville. They’re still playing their sweetly tempered, half-throttle blues pop, though Thursday night it was noticeably sloppier, looser and frequently faster than usual. We suspected at first that it was because frontlady Coco Hames was visibly and audibly hammered, howling sharply into the mic and slurring banter in between, eventually going to lean against a wall that wasn't there and taking a spill. But her shtick got slightly more transparent as their set wore on, leaving us to believe that — like us — The Ettes maybe weren’t in the mood for live music that night.