Live Music Review //
Underwear / Red Rainbow / Michael Slyne
April 19th, 2023
@ Best Video, Hamden CT

Additional photos can be found here :::

This was my first time at Best Video in Hamden and even though it was a school night this show said it would be from 6-9pm so Quentin was with me.  I really enjoyed just the general atmosphere of Best Video as, I myself, used to spend countless hours riding my bike with friends to the local video store to rent movies and even to go there with my parents to pick out movies as well.  

Sometimes I feel like I'm in the minority and just talking like an old person when I think things like "I really miss video stores" but this especially rings true when I'm searching for that one movie to watch and it either is on a streaming service I don't subscribe to or isn't streaming anywhere at all.  Paying that one flat fee (like a couple bucks) to watch a movie, but also just the entire experience that comes with going to a store such as Best Video is something I'm glad still exists.

For a Wednesday night show this had a good turn out in terms of people there to see the music and rightfully so because these are all three artists you should be out there getting into.  They all also brought their own unique sounds to this show, which made it feel connected overall in that experimental way but yet also just so much fun.

Michael Slyne played first.  This was my third time seeing Michael Slyne since coming out of the pandemic and this felt more like the set from Willimantic Records than the more recent one at Warehouse 3.   The guitars were droning ambient while tape loops played behind them.  At times, the guitar felt peaceful but other times it would just crash down with these heavy chords.  

I like to think about music through the ears of Quentin as well, and so at times I would look over at him and he'd be covering his ears because these sharp notes would cut through so loudly.  Even though this sound might have just felt like one person with a guitar, it was definitely the loudest of the show and some of the loudest you'll hear in a way which can also just take you to somewhere isolated, like the middle of the woods.

Red Rainbow was up next and through the power of effects there were sounds made in a more traditional noise sense but a lot of them were vocal sounds which were manipulated.  The sound would loop but every so often something would come out and kind of give a jump scare if you weren't paying attention.   I had looked over at Quentin a few times and he was looking down and then looked up for these sounds.

Though this set did feel more minimal and a bit lighter in the sound, there were times when it came down a bit harsher and felt just louder as well.   That seemed to be the theme among the artists on this show though- the way they can explore the quiet and loud at the same time, seemingly taking turns or somehow even being both at once.  This also felt like you could see Red Rainbow perform a thousand times and never hear the same set but each one would be equally great.  

As things sort of escalated throughout the show, Underwear was the headliner and with that name you might not know what to expect but you'd be pleasantly surprised.  Drum beats came out almost like hip hop and then piano keys and other sounds of the keyboard came through as well with vocals which were live and then looped and manipulated.   Sometimes the songs were about not having money in the bank, other times they were about the refrigerator, but overall they just felt like something which could be easily related with.

For the set of Underwear I noticed Quentin bobbing his head on the floor to the beats and that was fun.  I know it was a school night, but next time I want to see him get up and dance.  And though the music has this rhythm to it, there is also this soul within the singing and overall sound as well.  I feel like the way some musicians will present their own take on jazz, to put it in that free jazz or such, Underwear has done that with more of a blues sound and this is the first time I've heard something like this and it just feels so special.

Three artists you should be going out of your way to see (all have upcoming shows, if you need to know where just ask) and a venue called Best Video which you should start going to if you haven't already because it just seems like such the perfect backdrop to the music as everything overall just shines in quality.  

Best Video can be found on the world wide web here :::

Michael Slyne can be found on Bandcamp here :::

Red Rainbow can be found on Bandcamp here :::

Underwear can be found on Bandcamp here :::