Live Music Free...who could ask for me. The event of the evening, Thursday, in Zootown was held at the Elks, where two bands from Virginia played, with Pygmy Lush headlining. Tideland was the other Virginia group. Three local bands were to provide warm-up, but only two and a fraction showed up. One lonely member of Riddlin' Que showed on time and made a brave effort to fill the band's slot.
Missoula duo, Stein, opened the proceedings with their oddball mix of humor and music. They seem to want to hide their musical talents with pratfalls and banter, but their abilities are obvious. Bonus points for having real drums, instead of relying on the keyboard for sound effects.
Ida's house band, the Sherlocks were the third and final local band to play before the Virginia visitors took over. They made me think Green Day and the Wallflowers had cross-pollinated. Give these kids a little stage time, and they will make their presence felt in Missoula. They're still a little tight, in front of an audience, but their practice shows and their skills are obviously growing.
As time ran out on the event, Tideland rushed through a shortened set to leave time for the head-liners.
Pygmy Lush lived up to the top billing, grabbing attention with raucous, almost punk, stridency and settling into hypnotic, contemporary psychedelic riffs.
Is that Clint Eastwood? The man with no-name (and no face) provided minimalist percussion accompaniment for a time, and then stood upright and grabbed a guitar for a change of pace.