Settly and The Disappointments(Pt. 2)

Circle Bar

July 05, 2005

It was the night of the underestimated tropical storm. Trees were broken in half, and limbs littered the side of Uptown's main roads. Some establishments on Magazine couldn't serve dinner the next day, and streetlights were out into the next night. People went without power for 24 hours. Winds were up to 70 miles per hour, but because they didn't technically reach 72 miles per hour, the weathermen decided not to call the tropical storm a hurricane. And, understandably in effect, people didn't take the storm that seriously. It's sideways funny. The weathermen make a small deal of the big ones and a big deal out of hurricanes that barely rain on us(read: last year's main hurricane, which did no damage after the city was told to exit).

An awkward silence fed by two very drunk old men and their antics covered The Circle Bar for a few seconds here and there. This was only possible because there were less people than usual at the bar. Four people(including bartender Stephanie) remained as Settly and The Disappointments' first set neared its end at 12:45, and that's when the wind was really picking up. But, cars can drive through wind. It's a fact.

Settly has been on the New Orleans music scene for twenty years, and the New Wave his band made a few months ago(check previous review) would have sounded right at home in 1985. This time around he, drummer John Markley, and bassist Andy Kurtz played straightforward rock that had the intensity of punk and the child-in-a-sandlot playfulness of The Who. Settly had no distinct message. His power trio just rocked hard with a poppy sheen. There wasn't anything overtly sophisticated about the music. And that was fine because it was fun. It was head-nodding stuff played by accomplished musicians that made it look easy to pull off the hooks without(I'm pretty sure) rehearsal.

Settly stayed away from his guitar synthesizer Tuesday night. Maybe because his keyboardist was MIA on tour with Shannon McNally. It didn't matter either way. The band succeeded, but even when they don't, they're still gonna sound good. Settly is a soundman at One Eyed Jacks, so predicatbly, the mix in the living room was superb. You could hear the bass! Things were loud. Kurtz is one of those players that could come up with ten different bass lines for one drumbeat. He changed his playing on the spot according to the direction of Markley. Wadn't no thang. Markley was the SUPERROCK(say it like "Superman!") drummer that every arena rock band needs. When the toms become almost as important as the snare, you know you're in SUPERROCK territory.

Settly and The Disappointments played a mix of covers and originals. Markley and Kurtz were all smiles during the covers. The band was having a good time, even if there weren't a lot of people to witness it. The Beatles' "Rain" was an appropriate opener.

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