Provo’s Underground: Baby Ghosts, Bare Wires, and The Howitzers at the Compound

by M. Lewis Barker

There’s not a whole lot to say about the Compound. I had been attending shows at Muse and Velour for a long time before I even knew it existed, and another few months passed before I was able to attend a show there. It’s a secret little place that you could walk past every day and never know about; such is the nature of the house venue. But once I started going to shows there, I knew that the heart of rock and roll, not just an echo of rock, but real damn dirty ROCK, was beating strong in Provo.

I go to shows wherever there’s music I like. I proudly admit to being biased when it comes to certain kinds of music – I’m no fan of radio pop, death metal, or anything that resembles post-2000 emo. But when it comes to venues, there’s no reason to be picky. Each of Provo’s venues is different, but each can put on a hell of a show. I’ll gladly play wherever people will have us. (I just got back from a show where my band Wild Apples just played to a grand total of three people at The Grove Theatre.) Music is too much fun to be picky about everything. A lot of people might avoid the Compound for whatever reason, but if you like rock and roll, then you should head out to a show. It’s the one place in Provo that a whole slew of touring bands can come and play and be guaranteed a draw that will actually listen, no matter how small.

Last night, a couple dozen of us got to enjoy some wonderful bands. I caught Baby Ghosts for the first time, a noisy garage band featuring Black Pyramid Recording‘s Bret Meisenbach and Pat Boyer (Desert NoisesGypsy Cab). I was honestly blown away by how good the music was, and the performance from all four band members. BG is my favorite band that I’ve seen at the Compound so far, and it’s a shame that its members are so busy with other projects that they can’t play more often. Bare Wires, a psychedelic trio from Oakland, CA, was the visiting band of the night. Their music is very 70s inspired, though the frontman’s mustache and shirt may have inspired that thought more than their songs. The Howitzers, a mainstay at the Compound and frequent Muse Music performers, ended the night with their simplistic garage rock. Not everyone is a fan of the Howitzers, their music is kind of a pale imitation of garage rock by teenagers who don’t know much better, but personally I enjoy their songs and their sets since they don’t take themselves too seriously. Since they seem to play somewhere in town at least twice a month, you’ll find yourself hearing them eventually.

Instead of in-depth reviews of all the bands, here are some pictures:



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