Live Music Review // Jake Manzi / Audio Jane / 77 Apes
September 20th, 2023
at Cafe Nine, New Haven CT

Additional photos can be found in an album on Facebook here :::

One of the best ways you can spend your Wednesday night in Connecticut is at Jake Manzi's Record Release Show, especially if that show happens to also have Audio Jane and 77 Apes opening.   This was one of those shows where if you see one of these three artists listed and then you don't know the other artists, you should still go out of your way just to see them (and maybe hear some new music you like in the process).   How these three artists got onto the same show is rather special as instances like this don't occur every day.

This show started with 77 Apes who have a unique style of rock music that you can't put an overall label on but rather can take on more of a song by song basis.   In fact, they have an album which came out this year called "Genres" (and you should be listening to it) which has a different genre for every song on it and cover songs as well.   This just goes to show their range as musicians because not all artists can break down the proverbial walls of genres.

When I first heard 77 Apes I had compared their sound with Bruce Springsteen, but it goes into the blues as well.   They played a pop punk song and even ended the set with a song that had keys as the focal point.  I think we're beyond the time of when bands would play songs that all sounded closely the same, or at least we can find that in 77 Apes.   If you can be diverse in your songs and still retain that same quality then I say go for it.  But not everyone can do what 77 Apes is doing and that's also okay.

Audio Jane was up second and their music just hits like a wave.   There are these elements of music from the grunge and post-grunge type of era that must be noted.  Bands like That Dog, Mazzy Star, The Murmurs and K's Choice all come out for me.   But at the same time, there is something modern in here.  At times it can be similar to Metric, but there is also just this feeling of it being some kind of -gaze, where Audio Jane would fit in with the shoegaze crowd and all that entails.

I'm not sure if this exists already or is redundant but I thought of Audio Jane as being grunge-gaze and quite liked that idea.   Their sound took me back to that mid to late 1990's vibes, but also kept me in the presence.  Their guitarist was strumming the hell out of his guitar quite a bit too and that was definitely a sight to see.  This whole band just feels like they're on the top of their game musically and when I say I want to feel music this is what I mean.  I want to feel it in my chest, where it feels like it can knock you over and that's what Audio Jane brings to the stage.

Jake Manzi took the stage and sang songs from his new album, "Here She Comes", which is out now and should absolutely be on your mind.   There is no easy way to describe the music of Jake Manzi and depending upon how you grew up and what your influences were (how old you are) you are very possibly going to hear something different in these songs than someone else.  But isn't that part of the beauty of music?  We can all have our own interpretations but at the same time it can feel so personal and special to us.  

Part of this sound reminds me of that 1950's rock n roll.  Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley and even into Elvis Costello.  I was also spending some of the time during this set thinking about Johnny Cash.   During one song I thought of the Gin Blossoms so much that I needed to shout them out here.   And then overall there is also just this sense of The Get Up Kids in here, which partly is based around their "On A Wire" album but also just in a general sense of their sound.   But I listen to a lot of music from a lot of time frames and so maybe if you're younger, maybe if you're older you're hearing other artists and that's all right too.

I think that the moral of this show is that three artists can come together, be so uniquely different not just from each other but from everyone else as well, and yet still play songs to the extent that if you were to put them onto a movie soundtrack (say "Empire Records") it would just work.   What they're all doing also just happens to be so incredibly good- they're all so talented- that it just made for an overall show that should not have been missed.  

Cafe Nine can be found on the web here :::

Jake Manzi can be found on the web here :::

Audio Jane can be found on the web here :::

77 Apes and all related links for them can be found on Instagram here :::