Saturday, January 02, 2010

Michael Martin and the Infidels

It is amazing how one can miss what is directly in front of one’s self, when living in a huge city. Most who visit don’t realize how big a place San Antonio is or how much it has to offer,to the local or the visitour. Take me for example- I know this city, but was just pleasantly surprised last night to find a “new’ band to go out to see now and then. Michael Martin apparently has been playing for a long time, and while I’ve heard the name the Infidels, I paid little heed. I was usually busy with whomever I was working with at the time and my vision of the city as a whole was limited as a result. Often is the time I have heard people complain about there being nothing to do in this city, and I know they are wrong. It may not all be YOUR cup of tea, but there is music everywhere here. I have come to think that even if Austin has more venues with live music on a daily basis, San Antonio offers a cultural diversity Austin can’t touch. I also think that SA offers the artists a more lively, interested crowd in general. I watch people up north of here pay to get into see a band and then act incredibly bored by the whole thing. Does make me wonder why the heck they didn’t just stay home and listen to some CDs instead.

The foursome I had the pleasure of listening to last night were not playing under the best circumstances.I hate being in restaurants where people are eating, clanking dishes, and talking over the music being played. It speaks volumes of a group when they can make those same people stop all that commotion and play attention! That happened quite a few times last night. There were quite a few covers in the sets they played, but frankly, I’ve not heard “Tangled Up In Blues” done as well. I might get hit for saying it, but while Bob Dylan is an incredible songwriter, the man’s singing voice and vocal style leaves much for my ears to desire. Michael handled the vocals beautifully, and the harmonies were next to flawless. (One must always give the artists room to expand, and according to one I call genius, perfection is limiting. Mistakes bring growth.) I also think I may have been one of the few in the room to recognize the Waterboys tune they covered, smoking thru Mike Scott’s classic about a WW II Russian soldier being sent off to a gulag because of Stalin’s paranoia."Red Army Blues" always moved me, and Mr. Scott was done proud last night, in a cramped venue short on lighting and proper acoustics. It was also one of the songs that due to the band’s intense approach to the story, stopped the audience in its collective tracks.

They group goes electric later in the month at a venue I have come to like a lot, Casbeers at the Church, and I eagerly await to hear the difference in attack on the songs they did last evening. I am hoping to help them out by flyering the city for the gig , maybe to fill the seats of this unique place. The stained glass windows, old wooden pews, full dual level stage, and sufficient levels of lighting can be inspiring to both band and audience. In the meantime, my photography is getting behind again, and I have about 1000 pictures to get edited. More on Michael and co. when I get a chance.

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