The happy byproduct of seeing an Elsinore live show like I did Friday is coming away with a great new band to track. Like you get your fill on Elsinore, and then you get to delightfully stash another band under your shirt sleeves.
The first time I saw Chicago Tunes’ favored sons of Champaign was about two years ago when they were traveling around in support of Yes Yes Yes. That show’s byproduct: The Bears of Blue River. About a year later at Subterranean — now promoting Life Inside an Elephant — I left with Minor Characters.
This strange thing, but again a thing I’ve finally recognized as a thing, happened a third time this weekend. One of their openers, the Chicago-based Caught in Your Pockets, totally rocked me with their spin on ’80s-flared noise.
I’ve said this a lot this year, but again I’ve fallen for another group with a significant dependance on keys. Like The Runnies, actually, Caught in Your Pockets is keys, drums and guitar. But the marked difference between the two is that Caught in Your Pockets uses bass guitar in lieu of electric. The thing that results is a smoother sound. Less dirt and mud than The Runnies, and increased eagerness.
I picked up Caught in Your Pockets’ album released earlier in the year and it, essentially, soundtracked my Saturday. “The Scene,” in particular, was more or less my morning. And then I started tossing in “Stay” and then, finally, I basically set Lose Your Cool on loop.
You know, the keys situation is something I’ve found I can’t ignore anymore. I don’t think it’s just me; I truly think that the instrument has caught the kind of wave that ushered in all those violins a handful or so years ago. I addressed this idea with Elsinore’s keyboardist, and he seemed to agree there’s been an obvious upswing in keyboard splendor. He took the idea one step further, though, and said it might have to do with artists performing these days who were so influenced by ’80s music in their youths.
I think Mark is wonderfully spot on. Go on and give Caught in Your Pockets a test drive, and you might agree that underneath all those happy layers of sound is a group that bleeds ’80s. Much of the time, their Lose Your Cool feels like a modern sort of commentary on that decade of yore.
What’s omitted from the record out of default, however, is the hard pulses of energy you can only get from a Caught in Your Pockets live show. With two of their three instruments — keys and drums — needing to be physically pounded upon in order to sing, it takes that visual of Brynn smacking her keys and Moo (yes, Moo Haygood) on drums to truly capture their shine. All the more reason to go out and see ’em, yeah?
Give these folks an honest listen. I think they’re fantastic.
- The Chicago-based Caught in Your Pockets is Brynn Bixby (keyboards/vocals), Moo Haygood (percussion) and Alex Beach (bass). | Facebook
- Stream (and then buy) Lose Your Cool. Seven bucks. | Bandcamp
- Caught in Your Pockets next plays Subterranean on June 7. Come on out! Ten bucks. | Event Info
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