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Neon Reverb report: late-night with JJAMZ and Dry River Yacht Club

Leslie Ventura

Between the dream-pop served up by JJAMZ at Beauty Bar and the folky, gypsy-rock of Dry River Yacht Club at the Bunkhouse, both venues offered good reason to stay Downtown late on Thursday night.

JJAMZ: Lead singer “Z” Berg (formerly of The Like) takes the Beauty Bar stage with sort-of indie supergroup JJAMZ. Playing her role like an actress on a daytime soap, Berg’s just-right amount of flamboyancy and Blondie-esque charm walks a fine line between over-the-top and just plain eccentric. Berg’s breathy, sometimes scratchy vocals on “Never Enough” outshine even her best Marilyn Monroe pout. “I f*cking love Las Vegas,” she admits enthusiastically before handing the mic over to Alex Greenwald (of Phantom Planet) on new song “Waste of Time.”

Dry River Yacht Club: At about 1 a.m., Portland-based AgesandAges wraps up its outdoor set over at the Bunkhouse … and take most of the night’s attendees with them. Too bad, as Tempe, Arizona’s Dry River Yacht Club proceed to close out the show with a surprising bang. The seven-piece band, which employs bass clarinet and tuba and describes its music as “acoustic symphony indie rock on a dancin' pirate's rusty yacht,” combines the sounds of Eastern Europe and South America with Western folklore. Wearing a black salsa dress, lead singer Garnet (yes, just Garnet) performed as if Victor Hugo’s Esmeralda had come to life, grabbing the ruffled corner of her dress like a matador. Her hands jolted to the beat as she bellowed lyrics one minute and whispered them, creepily, the next. Of course, it wouldn’t be a DRYC party if the band didn’t invite the crowd (down to 15 or so) onstage for the final song, just the way you’d expect traveling pirates to ending the night—with lots of dancing and booze. We can only hope they bring their rusty yacht back to town soon.


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