Early last Saturday, playing against the overly audible punk rock bellowing from Churchill’s Pub next door, Sweat Records and Hissy K hosted a small musical session inside the beloved record store. Mostly packed and also filled intermittently between acts by passer-bys from next door; the session, intimate and mood inspiring, touched all inside the store.
Before officially beginning, Frankie Midnight (sans Frankie) opened with a well-received instrumental that readied the crowd with a somewhat fighting spirit that was comically subsided when Frankie emerged and announced that he was going to open with an acoustic solo performance.
Soulful and easily honest about the meanings (or lack of knowledge of meanings) in some of his songs, Frankie Midnight strummed his guitar, and while the echoes of audible expulsion reverberated off the walls, lured the audience into their own minds, wholly running with their imaginations. Frankie also demonstrated, on his last song, a great ability at the piano, hitting the keys in the same fashion as an author on a typewriter and still keeping the soul consistent.
Following Frankie, Hissy K performed a three-song set in a mildly unorthodox way. With a whiskey sour on the piano to her right and Frankie’s guitar in her lap, Hissy played an original with a theme about a relationship, and an epilogue with Hissy shouting to a friend, “You know who I’m talking about.” For her next song, she gave the audience the choice of picking on a cover or an original, to which the crowd unanimously voted for an original. Upon performing her last song, Hissy stopped after three strums and admitted to messing up her own lyrics, at which point she and most of the audience laughed, but she continued and received due applause.
Frankie Midnight returned for another set, this time accompanied by his full band The Vivid Guilds. The group played a mixture of instrumental mashings of rock and soul/funk to a more “structured” indie sound. Each member fed off each other comfortably and playfully, especially the guitarist, bassist and drummer who appeared to be fake ending one another, while Frankie did a dance on the sidelines and the crowd again was pleased.
The Vilifiers definitely challenged the mood preset that evening. While the previous acts had had some sort of civility in their performances, the Vilifiers went against that grain and brought forth their own collective personality. Fronted by a man with the endurance of a runner and filled with three musicians who don’t understand the meaning of hold back, the Vilifiers exemplified punk rock at its rawest, singing about anything from smoking weed, to a love for sex and while the crowd did remain seated amongst the chaos of the band, tapping feet, ready to launch a body, could easily be seen.
To mellow the mood and close the show, Tamboka came forth. Comprised of nine members and a fusion of multiple musical genres and instruments, Tamboka brought the crowd to a place of tranquility and awe. Whether it was a man rapping, or one of the women singing over a violin, each of them were connected by a steady pulse that placed a light on every member and highlighted their individual talents and simultaneously shining on the group as a whole.