July 1, 2011 at Sam Bonds Garage
by Laurel Hayles, TCC

We really didn’t know what we were in for when we showed up for this evening’s entertainment, having but briefly perused the various online pages for the groups on tonight’s bill.  But everyone needs to stretch their experience envelope, and I’m glad we did!

Aeon Now! (Olive Delsol /vox, accordion, lyrics; Moriah West / drums, lyrics, vox; Hannah Brown / washboard, trumpet, vox; Aaron Long / trombone, saw)

Aeon Now! Sam Bond's Garage, 7-1-11

They opened the set and took the stage, with all four members sporting classical tutu skirts (even Aaron!).  Their offers to sell the shirts off their backs (“the earlier, the less sweaty!”) was met with resounding approval from the patrons although I don’t think anyone took them up on that offer.  To call their music “gypsy punk” would be cheating them of at least three-fourths of what their performance entailed – call them “dream caberet” and you might be a bit closer to the mark.  Olive’s voice and performance styling is amazing – you can definitely see their musical theater foudation.  If you like Gogol Bordello, you’ll LOVE these guys!

Aeon Now! Sam Bond's Garage, 7-1-11

Olive is also an accomplished accordianist.   Moriah has way too much fun with the drums, throwing as much drama as she does pounding the skins.  Hannah sounds and looks so shy and reserved, but I’m not sure if that isn’t part of the act. And you must see Aaron playing the saw wearing a tutu – it’s a life-changing experience!

Musically, they do an excellent job, with everyone playing together seamlessly.  They moved through the varying tempos and time signatures of the songs without making it look like anything other than perfection.

Aeon Now! Sam Bond's Garage, 7-1-11

I can’t even begin to describe Olive’s voice – rich and full one second, liltingly-sweet, and then screeching.  It was hard to take notes during their performance – I kept stopping in mid-word to stare at the show!

The audience loved them – we were all captivated.  I’ve never heard such melodic laments presented with such enthusiasm and energy!  See TCC’s live interview with them here:  http://theclubcircuit.wordpress.com/2011/07/04/live-interview-with-aeon-now-july-1-2011/.

Video courtesy of Northwest Showcase/Randy Prince

Strangled Darlings (George Veech / mandolin, banjo, vocals; Jessica Anderly / cello, saw, vocals; Sharon Cannon / violin & hoola hoop)

Strangled Darlings, Sam Bond's Garage, 7-1-11

This was another fun group, with gypsy folk stylings tangled with bluegrass roots.  Based out of Portland, they gave us a very pretty and lively set, like jewels raining and strewn across the club.  They had a really good connection with the audience, cracking jokes as they intro’d and closed each song.  I would have liked to have the patrons talk a little less (or more quietly) through the set, tho.  Or maybe that’s just me – it was hard to catch all the nuances of the pieces with the high background noise.  It was rather amusing actually – when their set started the club was almost empty, but by the time the second song was finished there were suddenly 50 people seated.  It caught George by surprise!  Where had they all been hiding… perhaps they came out of the woodwork???

Strangled Darlings, Sam Bond's Garage, 7-1-11

Their performance of “Circus” gave us a chance to see Sharon, an accomplished violinist, perform while running a hoola hoop!  She didn’t miss a stroke of either one.

They were all great musicians – it was a pleasure to see them.  A bit out of my personal comfort zone, but again, we all need to push the envelope – right?  You can find them here:  http://strangleddarlings.com/ and http://www.facebook.com/strangleddarlings?sk=info


Dinosaur Feathers (Greg Sullo / lead vocals & guitar; Derek “Duck” Zimmerman / Korg mini-synth, vocals; Ryan Michael Kiley / bass; Nick Brooks / drums)

Dinosaur Feathers, Sam Bond's Garage, 7-1-11

Ok, now we were back to our rock roots – surf rock rules!  These guys were nice and bright and tight; definitely a fun group to see.  The house PA was a little loud (gotta get these small clubs to understand that!).  Nick’s drums kicked ass, and Greg and Derek’s vocals blended nicely throughout.  Derek does an admirable job making that mini-synth sound huge, with Ryan’s bass popping hard.  They use interesting chord progressions paired with unusual augmented variations, which of course caught my attention.

Dinosaur Feathers, Sam Bond's Garage, 7-1-11

I really liked the bass player’s vocals when he did the lead as well.  We only stayed for half of their set – the wood bench proved to be too much for us!  I would like to see these guys play again – with more padding on the seats!  You can find them here:  http://www.facebook.com/DinosaurFeathers and http://dinosaurfeathersmusic.blogspot.com/

Spotlight – Sam Bond’s Garage, 407 Blair, Eugene, Oregon

This was our first visit to this venue in the heart of the Whiteaker neighborhood adjacent to downtown Eugene.  A very nice establishment, with lots of wood interior and pretty (and eclectic) artwork, Sam’s is an eatery with a full bar, featuring live music throughout the week.  Lots of seating is available inside, with two exterior areas as well.  While it was a perfect day to be outside enjoying the lovely weather, we opted to stay inside so we could see the bands.  The folks behind the bar were very friendly, welcoming us warmly.  The menu features several sandwich selections, with a daily homemade soup special and some cool appetizers (and pizza!).

If you are planning on making a night of your visit to the club, I recommend catching seating at one of the tables rather than on the wood benches tho – by the end of the evening, our bums were numb!  Great view of the stage, but not the most comfortable seating!