There’s really no such band as Memorypony. That’s just a name I gave to an iTunes playlist I made a few weeks ago when I learned that I’d be seeing Memoryhouse and Seapony at the Crocodile Cafe in Seattle. I guess I could’ve called it Seahouse, but I thought Memorypony had a better ring to it.
Memoryhouse and Seapony are two bands I found out about because they gave away free mp3s of their music. Memoryhouse gave away their cover of the Zombies’ “This Will Be Our Year” back in January and Seapony gave away a song called “Dreaming” at the end of 2010. Sometimes that’s all it takes for me to buy a band’s complete discography and go see them in concert.
Beth and I went down to the Crocodile on a rainy and blah Friday night. We didn’t time things well and ended up getting to the venue early. That’s usually something I like to avoid, but it worked out well this time as we were able to snag a bench over on the side and catch an opening act named Jay Arner. I’d never heard of him before, but he looked a lot like a teenage James Taylor so I was inclined to like him and enjoy his awkward set of pop tunes. I say “awkward” because he appeared nervous, tripped over a guitar, and kept talking about how it was only their second show. I found the whole thing endearing and hope he never gets entirely comfortable onstage. Here’s his setlist:
Jay Arner setlist: Don’t Remind Me/Nightclubs/Wildest One/Emotional Whiteout/Bird of Prey/Black Horse/Out to Lunch/Broken Glass/Bad Friend
Seapony basically has one song that they play over and over again. I think it only has three chords. I normally wouldn’t care for that approach, but the three chords sound good together and it’s a really catchy song. I didn’t mind hearing it ten times in a row. Making Seapony’s show even better was the fact that Beth and I realized a couple songs in that the drummer was none other than Rose Melberg. She’s one of my favorites; I have all of her solo records and at least a dozen releases by her various bands: The Softies, Brave Irene, Tiger Trap, Go Sailor, etc. I didn’t recognize her at first as she still looks twenty-five. It turns out she’d also been drumming in Jay Arner’s band. Seeing Rose was a pleasant surprise and only added to the enjoyment of seeing Seapony. Here’s their setlist:
Seapony setlist: Be Alone/With You/Dreaming/So Low/Go Away/Into the Sea/I Never Would/I Really Do/Blue Star/Sailing
I didn’t quite know if I’d like Memoryhouse in concert. Their music is kind of dreamy and ethereal and that doesn’t always translate into an engaging live performance. They managed to successfully combat that phenomenon by performing in front of a projection screen that displayed little movies for each of the songs. And they played a half dozen songs from their debut LP, The Slideshow Effect, many of which seemed a bit livelier than the EPs and singles I’d been familiar with going in. The new song “The Kids Were Wrong” was especially lively. It really got the buffoons and drunkards dancing inappropriately. Here’s the setlist:
Memoryhouse setlist: ??? (see notes)/Walk With Me/Sleep Patterns/Modern, Normal/Heirloom/The Kids Were Wrong/Quiet America/Punctum/When You Sleep/Little Expressionless Animals/Lately/
Memoryhouse encore: Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic (Police cover)
Memoryhouse wrapped things up with a Police cover and the house lights came on. Beth and I headed for the door only to find that it was pouring outside. I stuck our vinyl purchases (a copy of The Slideshow Effect for each of us) inside my rain jacket and we headed off into the night to find our Zipcar.
Here are a couple of the usual pictures to prove I’m probably not making this stuff up.