HPMA Showcase: The 12 Best Artists of 2012
Rocks Off asked the writers we had covering Sunday's HPMA showcase downtown to pick out one or two of their favorites among the 50 or so performers.
SLIDESHOW: HPMA Showcase - The Bands
Photo by Groovehouse
Bang Bangz: Bang Bangz set up a mellowed dreamscape for their audience, culminating in tunes that transported to a sound directly off The Postal Service's Give Up. This reference goes directly to the last few tunes, which were most explosive with a "z". In other wordz, those tunes had whatever possible flair the added "z" in the band's name means , plus more.
Their stage setup was simple, free of props or a lightshow, which did not add to or detract from their sound, being good enough all on its own. Also, having seen Bang Bangz three times beforehand, this was their best performance yet. Here's wishing they only get better. ALEXA CRENSHAW
Chango Man: Scene veterans Chango Man never disappoint, but they were really feeling it Sunday night as they rocked one of the larger small-venue crowds with a toasty set of Latin-flavored rock and roll.
Photo by Groovehouse
This seven-piece ensemble laid down a wicked barrage of guitar licks and Mex-ified percussion, but took it up one step further with a "live, onstage band practice," delighting the crowd with a wicked impromptu version of Ray Charles' classic "What'd I Say?" that was as hot as anything I heard all day. WILLIAM MICHAEL SMITH
Female Demand: Even though I only watched them for a few minutes, I'm going to go ahead and say Female Demand, because I've been trying to see them for a while now and nothing ever quite lined up. Then there they were playing in the corner of Dirt Bar and it was like, "What took me so long?" Bass and drums only, aka awesome.
Photo by Barry Sigman
When a band doesn't even bother to recruit someone to play guitar, keyboards or any other more "melodic" instrument, it's usually an indicator that they're only interested in creating as much woozy, crashing, fucked-up racket as two human beings can pound out. Female Demand didn't disappoint. CHRIS GRAY