The Howitzers and Crab Scratch Ecstasy at Muse Music – 2/18/2011

by M. Lewis Barker

How are you doing fellow music lovers? I know I have not updated in quite awhile, but schoolwork and all that have made me a busy bee, missing a number of local shows. But I am not one to so quickly abandon my post, so I am back with another fine entry.

First thing’s first, there are a couple articles worth reading. Recently an article was published in BYU’s The Daily Universe called “Networking key to Provo music scene“. The title of the article is very true. Networking is more important than anything else, even being a good band. And yes, indie folk is possibly the most prominent genre in town, but it’s not necessary to be an indie folk band to be successful, as the article leads us to believe. My complaints about indie folk is that there is an over-saturation of it in Provo, not that Velour won’t book anything else.

But the ever positive Chance Clift responded with his own article, published at Rhombus, called “In Defense of the Provo Scene“. Chance’s main point is that yes, the bands that work hardest to get people to their shows will be the most successful, but you can play any genre you want and still accomplish that. It’s a very good read. Please check it out.

In normal news, I got to see The Howitzers and Crab Scratch Ecstasy play at Muse Music Café last Friday. Archie Crisanto opened the show with a solo set, but I’ve talked enough about him. Cowboy Chords also played, but I missed their set. If anyone reading this saw it, please leave a comment with your thoughts on them.

The Howitzers

The Howitzers are straight up garage rock. They play a really fun, energetic set and always manage to bring a crowd. I definitely recommend you check them out some time. They are a three piece, but both the guitarist and bassist share vocal duties and tend to sing together. They’re a rough band, but talented at their instruments and writing some solid songs. You won’t find anything terribly original, but you will definitely see something very enjoyable.

Crab Scratch Ecstasy

CSE is a three piece jam band. They played a set that was twice as long as it needed to be with songs that were twice as long as they needed to be, but the audience enjoyed it and stayed for the most part. There are a lot of good ideas in their music: interesting compositions, chord changes, melodies. But one quickly gets the feeling that they’re just making it up on the spot after awhile. The highlight of the band is the bassist, who is one of the best I’ve heard in town. The guitarist was very talented too, though I occasionally felt like he was playing music above his skill set with a mistake now and then. (Though I’m not one to talk. I screw up like 10 times a song.) They’re a good band though, but I’m not a fan of the wankery involved in jam bands. I love jamming, but it’s not something I like to subject an audience to.

I’ll be playing a few house shows/parties this weekend, but there’s a fantastic punk show at Muse this Friday which I highly recommend. And the magnificent Ferocious Oaks will be releasing their new EP this Saturday at Velour with MudbisonBoots to the Moon, and Emily Brown.



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