Thursday, July 16, 2009

Lights, Cameras, Birthdays & Hot Seconds

Hot Seconds: July 14 @ Southpaw, Brooklyn, NY

I decided it was time to relax a little. What better way to go about it then by taking in the fine musical stylings of the deliciously fun Hot Seconds? So, I hopped on the train and headed over to Park Slope (that's in Brooklyn for the non-New Yorker's and neighborhood challenged New Yorker's) to visit the rather spacious Southpaw.

The band James Love (vocals/guitar/tambourine), Eran Westwood (guitar/vocals), Marcel Simoneau (keyboards/guitar/megaphone), Bob Toria (bass), Ian Hudgins (drums/vocals) were once again in the zone. They did an eleven song, fifty minute set kicking it off with "Can't Stop" and took it home with "When I Go." In between these two songs, the favorites were played as well as some filming for a Brazilian television program. Brush up on your Portuguese boys, y'all are truly international now!

As you know, or you would if you've been reading previous postings or were at the shows, they've been rolling out new songs here and there. Last month they rolled out "Push To Pound," which they played again at this show. If I'm not mistaken, and I could be, it's been known to happen; it seems Simoneau has added more keyboards into the mix. I do believe I like that. Actually, I seemed to hear a lot more of Simoneau in general at this show than I have at previous shows. Either the sound system was showing mad love for him or he was making his mark, perhaps both. At any rate, the boys over on stage left have stepped up their already on point game.

I've mentioned in other posts about this mystical thing taking place over there on stage right in Westwood World. Not only has he unapologetically channeled his inner guitar god, he has now, it seems, completely embraced it. He's over there smiling and moving around in ways that previously weren't seen. All of this relaxing, channeling, embracing, smiling and moving has made me notice something. While his playing has always been solid, I've noticed over these last few shows, that it seems to be tighter, a bit more daring, dirtier and a little heavier. Whatever comfort zone he has fallen into translates well in his playing.

Meanwhile, over on stage left and back some, henceforth known as Toria Territory, there was an emergence. Birthday boy Toria broke out of his traditional quite guy in the background mold. We got ourselves a rather carefree bassist this show. Sure, he's still the unwavering and flawlessly consistent bottom line we all know and dig but, he too did a little more moving than I've previously seen. Perhaps this is a once a year event or maybe just the excitement of finally being of legal drinking age ... yeah, moving on. At any rate, I like this carefree thing he's doing.

Hear the drummer get wicked! Did I just quote Public Enemy? Wow, that's so unlike me. Anyway, it seemed like a good lead in to say I'm still feeling mad love for Hudgins' drumming. Yep, it's officially official; I'm just a Hudgins fan. The mad love doesn't seem to carry over to other drummers and it seems it's not just a phase. Speaking of said drummer, he was a lot less vocal this show.

Rock Star, or for this show, almost birthday boy; that would be Love in case you're wondering, was glowing. I can't really explain it. He just had this happy glow about him. Then again, perhaps he was feeling the excitement of being within hours of legal drinking age ... yeah, moving on, again. I digressed. Love is still letting his rock star wings flutter proudly. They grow a little bigger with each show. It won't be long before they're completely developed and he takes full flight. I can't wait to see him fly.

I have been pondering this since it happened. They did a song, "I'm Good, I'm Gone." It involves clapping together. Or, at least I think they were supposed to be clapping together. What I want to know is, how a group of men, who play so well together, manage to clap so brilliantly out of sync? Oh they started out together but somewhere along the line it all went awry. Let's for the heck of it say, they were only supposed to clap in sync at the beginning and at the end it was freestyle! Yeah, let's go with that. Judging by the smiles they themselves gave, they too may have been pondering The Great Clapping Incident of '09.

They really have found themselves. Of course, they weren't lost. They've just found what makes them shine best and have become more comfortable putting it on display. Hot Seconds have come into their own and with each show it gets better. I'm misting up with pride as only a sister can. Oh yeah ... I've adopted them whether they know it, like it or want it. They just may not wanna stop by for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanza, Easter or any other holiday that involves me cooking ... pickin's are slim in these parts boys. But seriously, I am proud. I'm proud to witness a group of nice guys start to take flight and shine.

Set List
  • Can't Stop
  • Pieces Of You
  • We Met Before
  • Holy Moly
  • Clam Man
  • Push To Pound
  • Pink Caesar
  • Gone To Ground
  • I'm Good, I'm Gone
  • Went To India
  • When I Go
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