Unforgettable Driftwood and alone together

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Zydeco impresario Bruce Handelman pressed me for some vital info. I had just strolled into Sticky Lips BBQ amid the smoke and music in the air wafting in, wafting out. 

Binghamton’s Driftwood was there to provide the entertainment and Handelman wanted to know if I liked the band. I couldn’t remember them, I said, and if I had seen them, I surely would have remembered.

The band set to play and I’ve got to say, it was pretty unforgettable. They played acoustic instruments, which probably leads to the misleading bluegrass tag. It wasn’t that they hammered out amazing riffs and licks, except for the fiddle player, who virtually sawed her instrument in half. The band played like the Talking Heads; angular and obtuse. Maybe even a little like Whiskeytown. Ask me today if I’ve seen Driftwood now and you’ll know what I’ll say.

Silent disco has always set my teeth on edge. I guess it’s the “D” word in there, but at the recent performance I discovered it’s more than that. I just didn’t know what it was.

Here’s what it is:

You pile 400 or so music fans with wireless headphones. The music comes from three sources: three DJs playing three different kinds of music. You flip a switch on the side of the cans to select which style of music you like. You can keep track of those digging what you are by the lights on the headphones. The three sounds that dominate ebb, flow and throb. You take the headphones off and it’s eerily quiet with the dancing, like a non-stop, silent erotic cabaret.

Dig it, dad.

Record Review: Cavalcade


Self release

The new record from Rochester’s Cavalcade titled “Inside/Outside” should be burning off the loops and whorls of your hot little hands unless you can’t pry it off your turntable. This hot platter, released Sept.21, is a wild, wild, white-knuckle ride with a disconcerting rhythm like an El Camino with a flat tire.

Think Blondie with less disco, Talking Heads with more, or Sonic Youth with neither. It’s frenetic, man, with a swirling, whirling madness with no escape.  That’s not to say the band is the least bit derivative as each instrument battles the others for attention.

This is a clear-cut example of how great the Rochester scene is becoming. File under “No Wave” for now as the cavalcade of Cavalcade fans keeps rolling in.

Frank De Blase is Rochester Beacon music writer.

Here’s a comprehensive list of live shows in and around Rochester: Get Your Gig On

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