Brando, Pravada, America Owns the Moon
Friday, Dec. 31 One hundred fans and three sharp-dressed bands rang in 2005 with a bang at Radio Radio. Pravada commenced the party around 10:30 with some cool, danceable, well-crafted songs. Their sound was like a mix of Television and '50s crooner music updated for the 21st century. Dancers rushed the stage as the guitars started to swell. Rhythmically, they were "in the pocket" on every beat.
Suddenly, guitars rang from the speakers like thunderbolts loud enough to be heard on the moon - America Owns the Moon started playing. These guys raged so hard they broke strings. At the stroke of midnight, the fans freaked out to AOTM's show-stopper "Freakout." The lights went black during their song "Blackshine." Friday's set was more streamlined and beefy than at the Mel in September, and the fans loved it.
Brando seemed more balls-to-the-wall than I recalled from seeing them in July. After starting out with slow, wistful, heavy ballads in the vein of Sebadoh, they lifted the fans' spirits and grew more intense with faster New Wave cuts that saw Derek Richey tearing up a psychedelic organ like one of Elvis Costello's Attractions. We all bounced along to the waltzy "Keeps You on Yer Toes" and some other cool numbers that had a Pavement-esque vibe. Everybody screamed in awe as an effect-laden guitar howled, screamed and roared in 2005 like a banshee.