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Alt-Rock-Country-Folk n’ Roll

SHOW #14: Country Mice with Serious Moonlight and The Maykit at The Hi-Dive 4/11/12

I went into this one blind people. Well, mostly blind. I’d heard one song by the headliner Country Mice and, unbeknownst to me, I’d actually seen The Maykit before. Still I was basically blind to what I would be seeing which is always a bit strange. In the end it wasn’t fully what I expected but it was good.

The Maykit

This guy was kind of hilariously indifferent about what he was doing. I’m not sure if that’s his standard persona or if he was just having an off night. Some of it may have been fueled by the disconnect between what he was playing: lilty musical folk songs and where he was playing it: a dive bar. He certainly seemed like he’d be more at home in a coffee shop than he was up there. The crow at the bar was exceptionally loud and it was kind of annoying because he deserved better than that. He has a good voice and his guitar work is solid. His songs are lyrically complex and seem to be very personal. These are all things that generally make for a good performance but he just didn’t seem that into it and I think that hurt the set overall. He’s a local guy, which was how I’d happened to see him before, so maybe I’ll end up seeing him again at another venue and see if it makes a difference. Check him out below:


Serious Moonlight

Part of me wants to make fun of how hipster these guys were. Because they were so damn hipster. I mean, there were skinny jeans and bangs and thick rimmed glasses on the stage all at the same time. Super hipster. I really liked what they were doing musically though so who cares what they looked like?

Is Country-Alt a thing? I know that Alt-Country is, but these guys seemed to be much more alternative with just a tinge of country twang in there so they seemed more Country-Alt than Alt-Country. Whatever they were they were good, of course I might be biased because I’m partial to pedal steel guitars and harmonicas. The only thing I’d really count against them are the vocals which I found kind of off putting for the first few songs. Though by song number three the vocals started to grow on me and by the end I was digging it. I’m not sure if it was because the singer warmed up or if the tone of the songs changed or what. Overall they were good but not exceptional, I felt like the pedal steel was a bit underused and lyrically nothing really stood out. Still they were enjoyable, and local, so if you see them around give them a look. Or just watch the video below:


Country Mice

These guys were good but they were not what I expected. That was mostly because all I’d heard from them was the song Morning Son which has an Alt-Country vibe to it so I assumed that was mostly what they were going to sound like. What they ended up sounding like was a hard rocking band that sounded like they fell right out of the 70s in the best possible way. They had this interesting structure for most of their songs that consisted of spurts of hard rock interspersed with mellow lyrical moments. It worked really well with the singer’s voice and vocal style, both of which reminded me a little bit of Tom Petty. They drifted in and out of jamming but it was a very tolerable jamming because it seemed to be jamming in service of the song and for the sake of rocking as opposed to jamming for musical theatrics.

As much as I enjoyed their set the highlight for me was still Morning Sun, I feel like it’s their best song but that’s probably just because it it falls the most within my wheelhouse. Again though, nothing they did was was bad. They are a rock band with folk roots I just wish I’d been able to see a little more of the folk than the rock. However, if you’re looking for a night of gritty rock that you can feel down to your bones I’d recommend giving these guys a look.

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