A kinda late show review of Brief Candles @ Cactus Club last Friday.



Photo by Betty Blexrud-Strigens
Words by Dan Agacki

Friday night in Milwaukee, what a place to be. C.C. Sabathia on the mound for the Brewers, commanding control of the game. Live music being played all over the city. It was merely the opening ceremonies of a jam packed weekend.

My cohorts and I found ourselves at the Cactus Club. For months I’d been running into Kevin Dixon randomly and every time I would inquire about upcoming Brief Candles shows. Schedule conflicts had kept me from making it to any of their previous shows, but Friday was finally my day to witness them live.

Partisan opened the show. I can’t say that I’m enthused about their live show. Their sets are slow and long. Dark. Crushing. Normally that’s right in my realm of interest, but I can’t help being bored when I see them. I place them neatly into my “bands that I can’t handle live but would love to sit back and digest alone in my room” file.

Brief Candles followed with their vast array of pedals. Their album They Live We Sleep is one of the most solid dream pop records I’ve heard in recent years, so I was interested to see how it would come across live. A lot of bands playing the genre can’t hack the studio trickery live, which kind of makes them obsolete in my eyes.

If memory serves me correctly, they opened with album opener “The Patron Saint of Hopeless Causes.” It’s a song that really sticks out as a winner, a deserved opener. The barely audible vocals as an instrument style gives the song a strong Kevin Shields (My Bloody Valentine) feel. As the set progressed, the songs stayed consistent. One after another, pedal stomping numbers churned out. The bass player rocked out seemingly off in his own world. And the guitarists seemed to be in their own world too. It was almost as if they were communicating in their own twin language that no one else knows. It was an interesting spectacle to take in, cloaked in a wave of spacey indie rock. The live show stands up to the album, I’m happy to say. By this, I deem Brief Candles still relevant.

Closing the show was Celebrated Working Man. They’re another band that I’ve meant to check out and ended up missing numerous times. I’m less familiar with their songs though, so I didn’t have any expectations going in. They give off a really solid aura. When they’re on stage, you can tell that they’re a group of guys that know what it takes to put on an entertaining show. Every song has it’s own catchy aspect to it. It’s pop songwriting prowess that this city hasn’t seen since the days of The Promise Ring. With their set rolling full speed ahead, my eyes gave way to too little sleep and too much cigarette smoke. I grabbed my friends and we commenced homeward, satisfied by the sounds of three vastly differing bands.

For more information on Brief Candles, check out Latest Flame Records’ Web site, or their MySpace page.

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One Response to “A kinda late show review of Brief Candles @ Cactus Club last Friday.”

  1. Charles Says:

    Dance, slow band! :bang:
    Dance! :bang bang:

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