BC and Big Friendly in the Aruba Showroom

Written by R Corso Saturday, 09 January 2010 09:13

Big Friendly made a great choice in having their CD release show at the Aruba. More and more, it is taking a place as an important venue for original music in town. Sound, by Brian Garth and Lazer Lavin, was the best I've heard at a local show in a while, and that is a tough room. The Black Box feel of the big room gives it a kind of cool punk rock grit, but it can be kinda echoey and muddy in there, soundwise. BG did a great job. Along with the Thunderbird Lounge, the place has two viable venues under one roof, not to mention a lot of hotel rooms out back. I'm just saying: Get a handle on the drink prices, and it could be great. Like it was tonight, but all the time.  

The opening set by Black Camaro was tremendous. Mix was great, and they killed. Scott Trujillo continues to be one of my favorite drummers in town, and Rick Miller has brought an almost Motown kind of thing to a couple of songs. "Calypso" was a real highlight. The thing that really stood out tonight, all night, really, was the electric guitars. Between the 3 guitars in Black Camaro, and the big rigs of Big Friendly, it was a really satisfying night if you are a guitar rock fan. There were solos, and twelve-strings, and fuzztones, and it was clear and loud. Again, kudos to the knob-twisters.

 The raffle. I didn't win. I don't want to talk about it. I really thought I was going to win the strat. The framed poster would have been great, too. 

 Big Friendly's new stuff is a step forward. I've always been a sucker for the big-guitars-and-Moogs thing, but the new stuff incorporates 60's influences, particularly on the Beach Boys harmonies on Jeff Ford's tune Backyard Glory, and on the girl-group sunshine suicide number and Melissa Marth showcase, Everybody Was Invited to the Party (But Me). They're a band trying to grow, creatively, and it shows. Timothy Styles, late of maximum r&b heroes Skorchamenza, is the "new" bass player replacing the aforementioned Rick Miller. He adds another layer of harmony in a band where everybody sings, and he and drummer Mike McDonald lock up like old friends. Jeff Ford's ridiculously awesome rig continues to justify itself. He really sounds good. They seem like a band with everything working right now. Album's available at