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Live Audio / Photos: Avocado Happy Hour @ the Ottobar (2009.01.14)


All photos: Greg Szeto

Avocado Happy Hour provide another interpretation in what may be the boom-genre of 2009: precious instrumental music.  The word precious comes to mind immediately with the twinkling glockenspiel and warm melodies.  They showed they have some adventurous ideas and inspiration, distributing a crate of bells to the audience for their first song.  All of their songs seem to have a somnambullic quality to them, at times sounding like a infant’s music mobile that is stammering while running out of juice, yet still struggling to accomplish its task of transporting you into dreamland.  This is likely owed to the glockenspiel dropping notes in an irregular pitter-patter in patterns of early rain.  

Unfortunately, each song seems to take a bit too long growing and developing, not enough happening to sustain interest early-on as they build each layer.  But it is worth it to hang on, because the finished tapestry is remarkably good; look no farther than the latter halves of “Mushroom” and “Seamore.”  ”Positano Prelude” and “Grilled Cheese” don’t really ever find their footing in an engaging way for me; it seems they need to refine their alchemy of instrumental voices a bit further to figure out just how much is needed of each to produce more tracks like “Mushroom.”

Avocado Happy Hour
The Ottobar
Baltimore, MD
January 14, 2009

Amanda Schmidt-Rhodes piano, glockenspiel, and keyboards
Rod Hamilton-vibraphone, drums, and percussion

Source: Peluso CEMC6/ck4(cards)>PS-2>AD-20>NJB3
Transfer: NJB3>PC>SF-7>Wav>FLAC
Taper: Jeff Mewbourn (jm292@yahoo.com)


Avocado Happy Hour>The Love Language>The Rosebuds
Mics located 8ft below heat vent
Sound: Brian Daniloski              


Download the full set as a ZIP file formatted in: FLAC or MP3

Stream MP3s and photos from the show after the jump. Read the rest…

Photos / Review: Mates of State @ the Ottobar (2008.11.23)

Photo Credit: faithdesired
Standing in line for the Mates of State show at the Ottobar, freezing, I overheard the door guy ask these girls if they were going to remove the waffles before they opened doors.  I thought: remove the waffles??? One of the girls replied: “No… the waffles are part of our show.”  Immediately, I was intrigued.  I was here to see Mates of State, who I was really looking forward.  They produce such a great sound and I have heard that they are just as good live as they are recorded.  However, I had never heard of the opening acts (Avocado Happy Hour and Brother Reade). As I made my way up to the stage, I was surprised to find a table fully loaded with waffle makers, whip cream, and cups of chocolate chips.  As the music began, the girls got to work cooking waffles and before too long, the entire Ottobar smelled more like a diner then a bar!  After a few songs, waffles were offered to the crowd.

Avocado Happy Hour opening for Mates of State at the Ottobar - Baltimore

Avocado Happy Hour opening for Mates of State at Ottobar - Baltimore

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