Artist: Care Bears On Fire
Venue: The Cake Shop (New York, NY)
Opener: The Indecent, Kicking Daisies
Label: Independent Artist
It is now 2010 and while I keep getting older, the bands around me seem to keep getting younger and younger. Of course I’m not reflecting upon this as some sage elder in his front porch rocking chair but I am finding that is it just amazing to witness time honored styles of music being performed so adeptly by the scenes younger generation. Today’s show would be a very early afternoon affair based on not only the bands performing but also to allow their real fans the chance to enjoy them without the fear of encroaching on their bedtime curfews. The show was being headlined by the Care Bears On Fire and would also feature sets by Kicking Daisies, The Indecent and Maple Street (whom I would miss entirely). The venue of choice for this gig would be The Cake Shop and while I had heard about shows taking place here and even seen the venue while exploring nearby a few months ago, I had never witnessed a show at the space and was looking forward to learning how it was done. Here is what transpired down below the city streets beneath the Cake Shop.
The Indecent: My initial reason for even being here was based on these cool kids who I had learned about from a publicist I have been working with for a very long time. I arrived just in time to see the band hit the stage and for those who need to know just what they are all about, you might be surprised to learn that it is a band comprised of three triplets. Yep, the band is two sisters and their brother by way of Emily, Madeline and Bo Brount and they are complimented by the young mister Nicholas Burrows. The triplets are sixteen and yes bear a slight resemblance to each other so the innocent eye will quickly realize that they are all related. Musically this was an interesting project and the material delivered was really rather dark. The band is clearly influenced by bands that came into prominence long before any of their members were born and I was impressed to see such a sound having an impact on such a young band. Emily is the lead singer and while she sings she generally looks down in true Shoegaze fashion. Her brother Bo plays the guitar and Maddy the bass. Mr. Burrows handles the drums and definitely likes to smash them with intent. Most of the tunes performed by The Indecent were their own originals but they kept things interesting by offering up two unexpected covers. The first was “White Rabbit” by Jefferson Airplane and one had to hope that the kids didn’t really know the premise of that one, but with that Internet and all this was very unlikely. The second was “Silver Machine” by Hawkwind. That one surprised me because in all the years I have been reviewing shows, I have not seen anyone do a Hawkwind cover. The bands full on set was “25 Steps”, “Upside Down”, “Nuclear Canadian”, “White Rabbit” (Jefferson Airplane), “The Curtain Rises”, “Oh No”, “Her Screwed Up Head”, & “Silver Machine” (Hawkwind). The only strange part of the set for me was when Go-Go dancer Anna Cococabana came up and joined them for a song and started dancing. I honestly didn’t felt that this worked well with the context of what the band was doing and was too different from their overall vibe. Maybe I was just missing something but for me, this could have been bypassed. Going forward I wish the band well and will totally see them again, and suggest that you do the same. Be advised that you should not go to a show expecting happy go lucky material about rainbows and puppies. The Indecent are showcasing the brooding side of today’s musical youth and there is clearly a lot of things that are depressing in the world for them to sing about. Next up the Kicking Daisies.
Kicking Daisies: While this was a headlining spot for the Care Bears On Fire, I was beginning to think that the show today was as much about the Kicking Daisies as it was about the CBoF based on the general crowd that had assembled for them. This was also an interesting band and as I walked downstairs for their set I was told that they were “the next big thing” (words I don’t often hear as a music journalist LOL). I smiled and told the person I am always willing to see what stuff is about and I was glad that I decided to see them as well because this was another unique project formed by some very talented young ladies and gentlemen. Musically this was far different from the brooding tones of Doomish Punk that The Indecent had done and was more of a Melodic Pop meets Rock outfit. The four piece band is made up of singer Duran, and guitarist Ben and then a pair of sisters in Caitlin and Carly. Interestingly enough the sisters maintain the rhythm section on bass and drums and I found that amusing. Singer Duran has the whole “teen idol” in training thing going on and plays to the crowd very well with big smiles and a positive energy that made his ardent admirers sure that he was directing every word at them. Ben S. handles the lead guitar duties and after a few songs I realized that I was watching one incredible young man on the axe. I’m serious, as this young lad was shredding the friggin’ thing and pulling off riffs that would make a person think that Eddie Van Halen and Yngwie had each donated some of their creative DNA into his genetic makeup. If you are a kick ass guitarist fan then young Mister Spremulli is to be watched out for. I can’t wait to hear how his original sound develops once he gets passed his hero emulation stage. Back on the drums we found Caitlin who was both smiling and making typical “drummer faces” at the crowd and they gave her a brief solo as well and this part of the night found me screaming my lungs out as the young lady delivered something akin to Tommy Aldridge meets Randy Castillo with her double bass thundering and quadruplet runs. My jaw dropped at the overall power displayed by this lass and while I have long known girls to be adept at the instrument, once she had finished her solo I could only shake my head and mumble “wow”. They closed up their solid set with a cover of Blink 182’s “All The Small Things”. I had to say that I was two for two on the enjoyment scale for this gig and everything done by the Kicking Daisies was just so on point that it easily won me over. Perhaps that person I spoke to was correct and maybe these kids are the next big thing. Only time will tell. Now onto the main event – the one and only Care Bears On Fire.
Care Bears On Fire: Now it was on to the “veteran’s” of this particular music circuit, as the young ladies that make up the Care Bears On Fire got set to entertain their now very eager fans. Tonight, I mean “this afternoon”, I would get my very first musical exposure to the CboF and I admit that I had heard some good things about them in the past from those friends who caught them playing somewhere over the recent months. The Care Bears are another trio of musicians, but not sibling’s this time around and instead three young ladies who have been performing together as a unit since the 5th Grade. That was a pretty cool to learn because I have found that once a band gets passed a few years hurdle at this kind of thing then they show the world that they are in it for the longer haul. The CBoF are also a group that didn’t sit idly by or just play shows without any material to put into the hands of their fans. Since their formation they have delivered a couple of albums with their latest opus being “Get Over It” available at their shows and on S-Curve Records.
The girls hit the stage with similar energy as the band that just closed out and I expected them to be on the lively side since they have been at it for a number of years now. My guess is that the new CD had only just come out since we only got four songs from it while the majority of the material would hail from the album prior to this one “I Stole Your Animal”. Sophie sings for this outfit and works as the band spokesperson even though both Jena and Izzy do the backups and Miss Izzy was the emcee for the other bands that performed today. By this part of the show the crowd was purely fans of the Care Bears and obviously crossed a few different gamut’s of age. It was on the younger side but that is good since this is what the girls are aiming their material at with songs like “Boy Song #1” or “Barbie Eat A Sandwich”. They songs were very, very upbeat and had a strong Pop sense while still maintaining a driving Punk aesthetic. They talk to their fans during the set quite a bit and get them into each and every song. That kind of action goes a long way, and especially in the mindset of such a young fan base. Nicely done ladies.
Overall I had to say that this was an afternoon of some cool surprises and the chance to check out bands that I might not have had on my immediate radar at this moment. Everyone performed with exceptional drive and was happy to be entertaining their assembled fans. I enjoyed checking out the Cake Shop but had to admit that it was excruciating in terms of the overall temperature of the space. It was a very hot day outside and was reaching the high 80’s but downstairs in the Cake Shop it was almost 100 degrees with no sufficient breeze going to help make it tolerable. If this is the normal case scenario down here I don’t see myself returning all that often or even recommending it which would be a shame since its difference was something that I liked. Looking back on the grouping of bands and their ages made me think of the saying that “youth is wasted on the young”. After seeing what I did today I have to say that this was a very false statement and one that was proved wrong as song after song went by. Parents, if your child is expressing some musical talent please foster it because every one of these kids rocked today like it was nobody’s business. You just might have the next superstar in your household, and to think you just yelled at them for not cleaning their room
Kicking Daisies Set List:
2. Big Bang Theory
3. Ben’s Guitar Solo
5. The Plan
6. Miss World
7. Caits Drum Solo
9. All The Small Things
Care Bears On Fire Set List:
3. What I Could Be
4. Truth Behind The Grin
5. Boy Song #1
6. Everybody Wants
7. Ask Me How I Am
8. Nothing To Do
9. Stuck In The Crowd
10. For All The Boys
11. Barbie Eat A Sandwitch
12. Everybody Else
The flyer for the show announced the gig for this soiree as the “Let Them Eat Cake” show. I know that the venue serves refreshments upstairs in terms of drinks and coffee and some sandwiches, but I didn’t actually see any cake. Next time I will look harder. Since I wasn’t actually hungry my attention was focused on the music going on.
After the show we caught up with the Care Bears and asked them to oblige us with a group shot. They are so charming and didn’t mind at all. Thanks ladies.
Here’s another one from a little farther away, I figured their fans would enjoy just another image so why not indulge them in that.
Just before I left I found the lads from Kicking Daisies getting the last of their gear in cases and ready to go home, so I asked them to get in the photo as well for good measure. I would have liked to get everyone involved in a single shot but I had no idea where all the rest of the gang had gone off to.
By now you know the ladies of the Care Bears On Fire, and shame on you if you were not paying attention all this time. They are flanked on either side by Ben (L) and Duran (R) from the Kicking Daisies. Oh yeah and before we go get a look at this bit of creative footwear.
Izzy was sporting some really clever looking shoes after the show (and she plays drums barefoot it seems, so ouch to that). I shot a photo of these when she told me that she had fashioned them on her own and I felt it might inspire some of her fans own creativity.