12.26.2008

I’ve been out twice more to see Midnight Hour, my friend Brad Lodge’s band–on December 15th and December 22nd. (My first two posts about them can be found here and here.) They have a residency playing at Detroit Bar in Costa Mesa every Monday night in December–which means you have one more chance to go out and see them.

Their live show was even better these two times than it was the first time I saw them. The sets were also quite different–they included the three songs from their demo CD again, as well as “Running Away,” but they also introduced several songs they didn’t play the first time, which I appreciated. I imagine that limited sets can be a danger for bands still in the process of writing their first album, but I was grateful to see that Midnight Hour avoided it. It sounded to me like Brad’s voice was a little tired, and he said that he was getting over a cold, but he still led the band with an infectious energy that seemed to be at an even higher level than before. The band was still tight, the music was still great, and although the place was still very loud I brought earplugs this time.

(Bonus aside: Someday I’ll get high fidelity earplugs, which reduce noise without muffling it. Normal earplugs cut out many more high frequencies than low frequencies, so the sound is distorted; hi-fi earplugs are “attenuated” so as to replicate the ear’s natural response and reduce sound at all frequencies. I had thought that so-called “musician’s earplugs,” which are custom-made, were pretty expensive, and upon a bit of research it seems they are; however, Etymotic Research offers a cheap generic alternative in their ETY•Plugs™ (ER•20 High Fidelity Earplugs). Apparently they reduce noise by about 20 decibels at all frequencies, and are available on Etymotic’s website for twelve bucks a pair. They claim that safe, permissible sound exposure to a rock concert at 112 dB increases from five minutes with unprotected ears [i.e. more than five minutes’ exposure at that volume endangers your hearing] to 1.25 hours. Hmmm, do I sense a small Christmas gift for myself here…?)

In any case, the main point is that Midnight Hour is a good band, and their live show seems to be getting even better. Due to the strange fact that there were no chairs set up in the bar on the 15th, I shared my table with a girl about my age and her mother, who had found the band online and wanted to check them out. They both enjoyed the two opening bands (Dynamite Walls again and a new band called Y.E.A.R.S., for which I can’t find a website), and although I appreciated Dynamite Walls more and Y.E.A.R.S. wasn’t terrible, I sensed that my two new friends were not too discriminating in their musical tastes. However, they immediately agreed with me that Midnight Hour was clearly the best of the three bands. Again, even though I feel like there are things the band could do better, they are very good at what they do, and I can’t wait for their album and also to see how they mature.

That being said, again, you have one more chance to see them. Detroit Bar (21+), 843 West 19th Street, Costa Mesa, CA 92627, 9:30 pm, Monday, December 29th. No cover. That means it’s a FREE SHOW. Come out and hear some good music for free. You know you want to.

Special offer: If you see me at the show and mention TLB, I’ll buy you a drink! (If you need to know what I look like, click here.) That’s how much I want to see you there–and how good Midnight Hour is.

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