The Resonars, Paperhead, Breakup Society, and French Girls Yucca Tap Room Tuesday, July 24, 2012
See also: The Resonars, "Nonetheless Blue" Review
The Resonars have been around the block before. Originally forming in 1991, the band has a dizzying history of a one-in, one-out membership. The only two constants in the Tucson power-pop band are singer/guitarist Rick Rendon and his firm grasp on '60s psychedelia swirls.
Rendon currently fronts a quartet, and the band has traded in some of the trippy sounds of yesteryear for the slightly more current sounds of '90s power pop. I picked up more Rembrandt vibes than any hints of Moby Grape. Which was fine, because whatever decade was channeled, The Resonars know how to rock a bar on a Tuesday night.
While the music didn't launch the audience into a mind-melting trip, it transitioned from structured flamenco-esque plucking with crooning vocals into a frenzied chaos of droning guitars and wailing vocals and then back again. The veterans melded better with the blues in some moments than any other genre. They warned the audience when they'd get "poppy," and the ydelivered.
It would be almost impossible to talk about Tuesday night's show and not mention up-and-coming Nashville quartet Paperhead and locals French Girls. Paperhead is a band full of young boys who aren't too young to understand a good throwback. The kind of band that makes you write in all capital letters in your notebook, "TAKE ACID NOW."
All four boys spent most of the show staring at their instruments, flinging in and out of whirring, surprisingly non-masturbatory breakdowns. The tripped-out keyboards, surfy strings, mellow drumming and barely-there vocals are the stuff of classic bands. Paperhead has some major potential; past the enumerable nerd girl hearts they assuredly smashed in high school.
French Girls came to impress as well, though you wouldn't know it by lead singer and bassist "Che Beret"s enticingly aloof facial expressions. Not only a master of the "I don't give a fuck" look that could have been perfected in any number of customer-service scenarios, Beret also is kind of like a combination and Xena Warrior Princess and Kathleen Hanna (between Bikini Kill and Le Tigre).
French Girls have the beat, they have the rhythm, but their gold lies in Beret's playful sex kitten voice that belts out goofy phrases like, "I want to watch you aerobicize." Not to mention there's something so inherently satisfying when there are women on drums and bass, essentially forming the backbone of a band, with men on the side. Definitely a local act to keep on your radar.
Critic's Notebook Last Night: The Resonars, Paperhead and French Girls at Yucca Tap Room The Crowd: A loose assembly of Tuesday night dive regulars, showgoers and some very enthusiastic dancers. Random Notebook Dump: Openers The Breakup Society kind of sound like early scenes of the Rutles -- in a good way. Random Notebook Dump Part Deux: A friend once told me that you can see a man's sex face when he plays his instrument, and I finally see what she meant. (Also about the Breakup Society.)
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.