Portastatic / The Rosebuds / Citizens Here and Abroad
Bottom of the Hill

September 27, 2005

Review by Jake Thomas

Rad is getting to see my good friend The Rosebuds again only a month and a half since the last time I saw them. Super rad is getting to see them with other good acts, and in the case of this gig, one before and one after.

Citizens Here and Abroad opened the show. I can't think fo the last time I got to a show early enough to see all of the acts, but it was more than worth it in this case - not only are they all super nice folks, they really rule the stage as well. I've always been hard-pressed to describe their sound; indie-pop would be the overall category I suppose, full of upbeat melodies and most of their work has an inherent sing-along quality to it. The duelling male/female vocals of Chris and Adrienne work together perfectly, and layered that with swirling shoegazer-ish guitars by Dan and furious drumming by the other Dan on his unique set-up and it all adds up to goodness.

My homies The Rosebuds held down the middle slot, and held it down well. The crowd seemed to be at their fullest during this set, and I must say it was probably the best I've ever seen them play. They were a three piece this go-around with a tall italian man called Giorgio on drums backing up Kelly and Ivan, and he did a fine job. They played a lot of tracks from their new record that just came out "Birds Make Good Neighbors", an album title that obviously points out that they've never lived next to the owner of a macaw. This album is a mellower affair all around, and a beautiful one at that, but they pepped the songs up considerably for the live setting. I still maintain that the duet from the new album (called "Leaves Do Fall" I believe) is one of my favorite tracks I've heard all year. They ended their set with the perky "Shake Our Tree" and even got the audience to sing along some to it, no small feat in SF.

The headliner of the evening was Portastatic, often referred to as "that group with Mac from Superchunk". Well now it's "that group with Mac and Jim Wilbur from Superchunk" as he has been formally added to the band. Between this fact and the hiatus that the 'Chunk are on, it turns out that Portastatic is the only place for these lads to get their aggressions out; what was once mostly delicate pop songs nad bossa nova covers, the new album and much of their live set could have fit right in with a Superchunk show (only without the exceptionally hot Laura Balance...sigh). It was a good set, especially the upbeat Superchunk-ish moments, though I did drift into conversation during the mellower parts of their set. They finished the evening off with a couple of covers, one of which Ivan from The Rosebuds helped out on, and I'd tell you what they were if my memory wasn't for shit.

All in all, a great night, and an excellent refresher for my love of North Carolina rock.

Read our previous Portastatic review:
July 30, 2004 @
The Cat's Cradle, Chapel Hill, NC
March 15, 2001
@ SXSW, Austin, TX

Check out our previous Citizens Here and Abroad experience:
April 25, 2003 @ Slim's

Read our previous Rosebuds reviews:
July 29, 2004 @ The Cat's Cradle, Chapel Hill, NC
August 5, 2005 @ Bimbo's

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