Vinyl Records February Face-Off
When I walked into Gerrard Hall a little after 9 p.m. on Friday night, Jaquelyn Lee was standing in front of about 100 people in a metallic blue dress and a guitar around her neck. Behind her, a YouTube video of dancing animated cats was playing on the back wall.
Somehow, it worked. Welcome to the February Face-Off!
Five artists rocked out in Gerrard for the shot at one spot on the Vinyl Records label. It's the second time that Vinyl Records has used a battle of the bands to sign bands to their label. The September Showdown last semester gave us Lafcadio, Apollo and Lake Inferior, who just released their debut albums in January.
I missed the first two artists, It Is Rain In My Face and Eric DiMarzio, but walked in just in time to see the end of Lee's set. She has the awkward, artsy singer-songwriter thing down. She sounded like a watered-down Cat Power (which made the images behind her even more fitting) as she strummed her electric guitar. That's not necessarily a bad thing. She had a great voice and with some help and studio production she would put out a stellar recording.
After an interesting dance-off during the "half-time show," the Huguenots took the stage. I've heard a lot about the Huguenots on campus and on blogs I read, so I was excited to finally hear them live. And I was not disappointed. They played a tight, but way too short, set of retro-rock clad in skinny jeans and skinny ties. I'm still not sure if the English accent is real....
The final performer of the night was Colby Ramsay, proudly hailing from Canada. Despite some trite lyrics ("Lost my money playing Hold 'em/Guess I didn't know when to fold 'em") Colby had a soulful sound and smoky voice that reminded me of David Grey. By far the best song was his last when he moved from guitar to keyboard and did a duet with a girl named Marianne (I think).
In the immortal words of Ryan Seacrest, now it's your turn, America. The next artist to be signed by Vinyl Records is decided by the students. You can vote all this weekend at vinylrecordsunc.org. In September, 1500 students voted after the September Showdown. Let's help blow that mark out of the water. From what I heard tonight, you can't really go wrong with any of them.