Posted by: Dan – May 10, 2012
Special guest singer/songwriter Sofia Talvik warmed the crowd for Cardinal Compass and The Dream Machine last Wednesday at The Republic. Despite being a solo act, Talvik's technical assistant/husband worked wonders for her already perfected sound, providing well-placed vocal harmonies, doublings, and effects. Sofia Talvik is absolutely freaking gorgeous, and her charming stage presence drew me in, all the more. Not only is she a great singer, she fingerpicks her acoustic flawlessly, reminiscent of the steady subtle perfection of Nick Drake's Pink Moon. Talvik announced with assurance that she would "perform the rest of her set naked if everyone was quiet." I must wave an incredulous finger at those who did not find this compelling enough. Come on people! Sigh... maybe next time.
Cardinal Compass plays a great live show, distinguished by a tight rhythm section and catchy vocal cadence. I heard keen use of space in the drummer's tossy style; uptempo kicks and crashes give Cardinal Compass a near pop-punk sound. In a sense, the only difference between some upbeat folk rock and punk is sheer volume, and the set definitely morphed from one to other rather seamlessly. Frontlady Hannah Standiford's voice exudes confidence, of which vocal cadence is a large part. She uses her voice as much as a rhythm instrument as a melodic one, and it makes for a great band when all elements are rhythm-oriented. I'm keeping eyeballs peeled for Cardinal Compass around the city.
And in the end there was The Dream Machine, making sure the crowd got its rock injection for the night. Luckily these guys have something up their sleeve each week, or else I wouldn't have shit to write about. I heard a few new jams happening last week, one of which, titled "Homicidal Dolphins," featured an impressive rap routine. As a guitarist, I always look forward to Justin Shear's solo work, at which he is getting even more proficient each show. Currently, The Dream Machine is eager to begin mastering their debut album, which they recorded last month.
This week, it's a Radio Rubber Room Thursday at The Republic, and it's going to be a veritable ass-thrasher. The Dream Machine will be joined by Winston Salem, N.C. blues rockers Sam Robinson and the Groove Elaters, as well as instrumental super-technical metal act Beef Lizard. The Groove Elaters have somewhat of a celebrity status, with occasional guest appearances by Derek Trucks' keyboard/flute player Kofi Burbridge. They've also opened for a number of famous acts, one of which being Tim Reynolds. We're covering all bases this week: blues, metal, rock n' roll. My loins ache for Thursday.
Words by Dan Mulrooney, Photos by Tyler M. Conta