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Myopic I, The Forty Fives, The Cynics
The Star Bar

Text and photos by Frederick Noble

It seems like in October there are more shows to chose from than any other month. Or maybe I'm just in the mood and doing better research. But in the last week alone I've been to Oakland Cemetery for 2 separate events and may return for a third later in the month, been to the Star Bar a couple of times, The Earl, and I've had to skip shows at Lenny's, 529, various galleries, etc.

Saturday was the first Myopic I Ball at The Star Bar, a night of 60's-influenced garage rock kicking off with Myopic I. Chad Proctor is a monster on bass (no surprise) but Richard, the lead singer, could use some improvement. Both degenerate CD and I agreed, he's a bit flat and monotone - more shouting than singing. He makes up for it with energy and fattens the sound with keyboards, but overall it's just 3/4 there.

Next up, The Forty Fives. I thought they were a bit off the last time I saw them on Nuggets Night back in August, but Saturday night they were dead on.

As often happens with The Forty Fives, I didn't get a lot of great photos because A) I was having too much fun, B) I was moving around too much to hold the camera still. (Apologies to the keyboardist, who didn't make it into the visual portion of this review.) The Forty Fives did a fine set, a quick encore, but then were dragged, sweating and grumbling, back out for a second encore. Fan-damn-tastic.

I didn't know a thing about The Cynics. Various Star Bar regulars told me they'd been around since the 80's when nobody was doing 60's garage rock, which made me worry I was in for another night of Fleshtones or Swigin' Neckbreakers, two acts everyone else on that scene seems to love but bore the crap out of me.

There were perhaps 3 minutes of their very long set in which I was bored, a jam that went on a bit too long that was cut off by the lead singer, "OK, enough of this jammy shit," then they went into a rousing rendition of the oft-covered Gloria - but throwing in a big chunk of Patti Smith's version. Oh yeah.

Unfortunately for you, the band is hard to catch on film, since the lead singer paces back and forth non-stop, climbing over the monitors and out into the audience and entangling himself in his mike cables.

This may be my new favorite photo. Note the shadow of the lead singer and the raised fist on the ceiling and his face caught in two different moments.

They got Richard back up there to play keyboards during part of the set, adding an even more 60's sound to the mix.

Without him, they definitely had an "80's band doing the 60's sound" vibe. Someone compared them to The Go Gos and I can definitely hear that. By the time the wrapped up it was after 2, something I haven't seen at The Star Bar in quite some time.

I wouldn't call the first Myopic I Ball a huge success, since the crowd was a bit sparse, but there were tons of familiar faces and the music was excellent. You should'a been there!

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