I have often rejoiced as technology has brought music back to the musicians and out of the grabby paws of the too-long-established charlatans and racketeers. Bands are embracing and forging a new honesty, even a new sound.
You've got, for instance, Brooklyn's Lucius, a band so full of unpretentious joy that I smiled until my skull almost popped out of my mouth. The band wowed the crowd, and my skull, Thursday at yet another swell edition of Party in the Park. The instrumentation was minimal, with everyone in the band resorting to percussion, sometimes all at once.
The five-piece band was fronted by two identical ladies in half-black, half-white dresses, kind of like the black & white cookies we used to get at Sibley's bakery when we were kids. When the two played it was as if one of them was playing into a mirror. The quirk and Talking Heads-esque slant was overshadowed only by the women's constant and stunning harmonies. The guitarist played a complete Sears Silvertone set up, which was all kinds of cool.
Straight outta Seattle, headliners The Head and the Heart pounced the stage to the delight of the extremely enthusiastic mob. In much the same bare-bones vein, THTH had instruments laying about the stage, with each member picking one up as if on a whim. The melodies were gorgeous. Everyone was singing and jumping up and down. I left smiling in a cloud of Gray Ghost exhaust, my skull still inside its wrapper.