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Mimicking Birds

Jul 30, 2014



The night opened with local rockers Dan Mariska and the Boys Choir, a group that currently consists of Mr. Mariska himself, guitarist Izaac Burkhart, bassist Lee Carter, and drummer Ben Neitge. Their set seemed to put the venue’s unusually social crowd into an even better mood than they were in already, as Mariska’s pop-punk vocals combined with electric guitars that rose and fell to create songs with a force reminiscent of those final, triumphant musical moments in a feel-good movie’s close. Seated at a stool near the back of the venue, I saw and heard the woman standing beside me grin and shout enthusiastically. When the band announced that they would be playing just one more song, she suggested that they play two, and Mariska shouted “That’s my mom!” The audience responded with hearty laughter.



After Dan and his boys came Trails and Ways, an Oakland, California based four-piece consisting of Keith Brower Brown, Hannah Van Loon, Emma Oppen, and Ian Quirk. Right off the bat, the band had the audience moving and grooving to songs off their newest EP, Trilingual, a collection of dreamy pop tunes with gorgeous male and female vocals. At one point, my plus one turned to me and commented with a surprised expression, “They almost have a disco feel, don’t they? I’m really liking it!” Indeed, the band’s genre took an unexpected turn for the danceable with tracks that lived up to their sophomore EP’s name, like “Nunca” and “Como Te Vas.” After Brown engaged the audience by incorporating elements like whistling and clapping into the set, the band’s final song was met with smiles and roaring applause.



The audience calmed down in time for Mimicking Birds, the Portland, Oregon-based headliner currently touring with Modest Mouse. Our ears were lucky enough to hear “Memorabilia,” a popular track from their newest album Eons, played first. Melancholy, complex, and layered with gorgeous guitars set to Nick Lacy’s gentle vocals, the band’s songs tended to make me feel as though I was immersed in the kind of natural settings from which the band claims they draw inspiration. It was easy to believe that, according to Lacy, the band had recently experienced the beauty of the northern lights, as songs like “Bloodlines” brought the crowd a serene sense of awe that would befit the situation. Clap in baseball caps and humble smiles, the band left me full of admiration for the beauty and emotion they evoked. It was safe to say that Tuesday was a musically satisfying night at the 7th Street Entry. 

Madie Hamilton