No-Fi Soul Rebellion
Sonic Boom Records 2209 N.W. Market St., 297-2666, www.sonicboomrecords.com.
Click here for directions and ticket information.
Click here for our reporting on REVERB acts.
Listen to Central Services' "The Lonely Tomato."
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Listen to Bird Language's "Frigid Women."
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Listen to Charles Leo Gebhardt 's "This Is Why."
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Sometimes bands really knock you out, but it's rare that they nearly cause you to spill your beer. But about three years ago, in a tightly packed Sunset Tavern, I ordered a beer right before No-Fi Soul Rebellion played. I turned around just as they kicked off their set, only to be face-to-face with singer Mark Heimer. He was on the floor, shouting lyrics in audience members' faces while his wife, Andrea, laid down some spunky white-soul beats. It wasn't confrontational. He just wanted everyone to be involved. Such is the spirit of their music, which is all squiggly soul-punk, heavy on the bass and the tambourine slaps. It's as influenced by Prince and Michael Jackson as it is by Midnight Vultures–era Beck. BRIAN J. BARR
Central Services' brand of indie rock is a palatable one, flavored with equal parts Shins, Ben Folds, and a number of other acts that would be right at home in the Mountain Music Lounge. What sets them apart, however, is something spectacular: Central Services Board of Education, a Sesame Street–worthy side project featuring children's songs that tackle toddler-important subject matter. Songs like "The Lonely Tomato," in which the red, round source of lycopene comes to terms with being a fruit, and "Ice Ages Are Fun," which both explains and attempts to take the fear out of the seemingly inevitable scientific phenomenon. Reason number 4,328 to grab a ticket to REVERBfest: You just might learn something. No, really—it's true. Tomatoes aren't a vegetable. AJA PECKNOLD
I don't know why, but when I listen to Bird Language, I think of '80s indie rock. Like, the sloppy-but-poppy, get-in-van kind of band that will probably crash on your floor after a sweaty, Rainier-drenched night. They fall somewhere between punk and pop, but with askew Pavement-style melodies and throat-scorched vocals, they keep easy company with fellow REVERBfest performers the Pleasureboaters. BRIAN J. BARR
When bringing up that little mustache T.V. Coahran wears, most are quick to cite Adolf Hitler (matter of fact, he's gotten his ass kicked at least once because of it). But people, Hitler's mustache was way smaller than that. Coahran's has more in common with George Harrison's circa 1967, or maybe Groucho Marx's. But regardless, his patch of face fur is heavy on the irony and completely fitting of a man whose overall look and music harkens back to Depression-era tramps. His songs are childlike, informed by show tunes, sometimes played on toy piano, and always wacky. Imagine if Syd Barrett had a thing for Rogers & Hammerstein—then you're getting close to T.V. Coahran. BRIAN J. BARR
The King's English
Glam rock from Bainbridge Island! These youngsters make the kind of Bowie-esque pop that was last heard locally from Jan Norberg's band Bats of Belfry. But the Bats were all about the crunching, metallic side of '70s glam. The King's English, on the other hand, deal in piano-driven melodramatics. It's all nervous vocals, power chords, and supremely catchy lyrics. BRIAN J. BARR
Charles Leo Gebhardt IV
When T.V. Coahran finishes up, you might wonder why the curly-headed dude in the horn-rimmed glasses won't leave the stage. That's because that curly-headed dude with the horn-rimmed glasses is not only in Coahran's band, he's a solo performer named Charles Leo Gebhardt IV. Gebhardt (or CLG4, if you prefer) has been on the local scene for close to a decade now. He's been a Catheter and, most recently, a Tall Bird. But he struck out on his own in favor of excursions into lo-fi, folkier territory. It's still very eccentric stuff and a lot of fun, like the solo work of Mudhoney's Steve Turner, but even more so like Jonathan Richman. Like Richman, Gebhardt's guitar strumming is jangly and punk-inflected, and he has a droll delivery. Some of his songs are informed by doo-wop but break for slick little bluesy riffs, while others are teen-dream numbers fleshed out by mariachi-esque solos. Lyrically, Gebhardt's songs are packed with all sorts of gentle turns of phrase, the finest of which is on "Look Out Look In." Here, he encourages a girl to look inward "when she thinks that no one understands," ultimately suggesting that she could be her "best and only friend." BRIAN J. BARR