LAST WEEK: It's Wednesday night at the Whig. It is really no different from any ordinary night; a moderately sized crowd, grouped together at their respective tables, sipping craft beer in a relaxed atmosphere, music padding the spaces of conversational lull. Yet tonight is exceptional though because it is a designated "Listening Party" and the band on rotation is sitting among the civilians, eating dinner and talking with anyone who cares to talk. Will Green, who is tending bar tonight, came up with the idea as a way to showcase local music. They feature one band every Wednesday, with the setup varying each time. Occasionally the band will bring a playlist of music they like, and then have their album play afterwards, or they will let their whole body of work be played in a single evening.
Patron participation is completely optional. Visitors can choose to speak with the band, engage in conversation about their music, or keep to themselves. Thus far the Whig has featured Dear Blanca, Stefanie Bannister, Muscle Memory. This night, Those Lavender Whales is up for observation. They occupy the table directly in the center of the bar, shrouded by dim lighting and the overwhelming smell of pizza. The first song off of their second album Tomahawk of Praise is playing. Aaron Graves is singing through the speakers, while Aaron Graves is simultaneously here in the flesh, finishing a chicken sandwich. The structure of the evening is so relaxed that patrons need not fear bothering the band by approaching them. It is almost expected. They are very nice and quick to share their influences, inspirations, and their positive thoughts on the Columbia music scene.
THIS WEEK: This week will be a close listen of Devereaux.
"In the corner of an intersection where the debris from a car wreck between Kraftwerk, Trans Am, Battles, Air, and Daft Punk is partially scattered, you can find the sound of Devereaux. Not quite analog, yet not exactly electronic, Devereaux is the sound of W. Heyward Sims: a boy who grew up perfecting Led Zeppelin riffs in front of his Emerson CD player in the early 90s, now a man who laments the demise of the answering machine.
Pineapple Flex is the full-length follow up to 2012's popular Cacti Pace EP. Bigger, bolder, sexier, tastier- Pineapple Flex propels the razor-sharp sound of Devereaux into exciting new directions.
These Listening Parties will continue to happen indefinitely. They should be attended by lovers of local music, and those wishing to make listening to and talking about music an independent activity once again.