The Good Life, Big Harp, The Roseline @ Riot Room
This Friday, after we’ve all trampled each other over post-Thanksgiving deals, The Riot Room will bring us all back to humanity with good old fashioned indie rock. Featuring Omaha natives The Good Life, LA rockers Big Harp, and Kansas City’s own The Roseline, the show all but guarantees a night full of good vibes and solid feels. Each blends noise, folk, indie rock, and their own fuzzed-over styles to make music that is simultaneously melancholy and unchained. The result is a show that draw you in with its warmth and keep you there with its subtle complexity.
Big Harp’s music has a tube-muddled thickness that infuses its sound with an undeniable energy. Like a punkish version of The Shins, Big Harp’s pop hits a bit harder without losing any of their indie charm. The chemistry between trio is undeniable. The band is able to make scuffed-up and ragged melodies that click right into place. Behind their dynamic sound is a show that absolutely radiates energy. Combining vocals that jangle like a more lively Tom Waits and rhythms that build their plucking into something monumental, Big Harp is an act as sharp on stage as they are on record.
The Roseline moves in a smoother vein of indie pop. Combining radio-friendly indie with a slight twang, the KC band makes music that is smarter than it lets on. Listening to their debut‘s first track, Feckless, it’s easy to think the lyrics are crooning over some unrequited love. But on closer inspection, it becomes obvious that stunted desire and the dissatisfaction of the present moment play off each other to show something deeper than lost love. Juxtaposing the song’s major builds and uplifting melodies, the lyrical content creates a weird counterpoint to the song’s sound. This subtle ability to shape and complicate tone gives The Roseline a seductive quality to their music.
Led by Tim Kasher, The Good Life is anything but standard. The Saddle Creek staple weaves together epiphanies and ignorances, noise and melody, heartfelt sincerity and coy sarcasm. The result is a sound that is unlike anything being made today. Part the melancholy croons of Okkervil River, part the aural fracas Modest Mouse, part the lovely disharmonies of Bright Eyes, The Good Life takes everything alive in indie rock and distorts it a little more. But to say the band is weird for the sake of weirdness is to do them a disservice. The Good Life’s uniqueness only underscores the insightful ways they deconstruct living in America.
If you’re looking for a place to unwind after the madness of Black Friday, look no further than The Riot Room. Featuring three amazing bands, the show all but guarantees a good time. The show starts at 8pm, is 21+, and will cost $12.