This past weekend was packed with shows, due to Hopscotch Music Festival taking over downtown Raleigh. Sunday, a day of rest for many who attended the festival, still had its fair share of great acts. Cat’s Cradle was hosting two shows, at its own venue and at Local 506. After a long day at work, I got on I-40 and headed out toward the other side of the Triangle.
Walking into the club from Franklin Street, I realized I made it just in time for Miniature Tigers‘ first song. The show started out strong, with great vocal lines atop a poppy, guitar-driven melody. As the first couple of songs passed, the crowd seemed enthused. About three or four songs in, the melodic pop started to become more synth-driven, and the crowd responded with some ridiculously nerdy and fun dance moves. Toward the end of the 45-ish minute set, the band played their most popular song, Bullfighter Jacket, to which the crowd responded in a quite unexpected way: a small mosh pit started a few feet away from me. Bizarre, right? With a few more songs (including my personal favorite, Gold Skull, which was produced by Neon Indian’s Alan Palomo), the band finished up their set, played an extremely well received, two-song encore, and invited everyone in the audience to say hi at the merge booth.
Throughout the show, Charlie Brand, the singer and guitarist, was positive and happy. He talked between songs about how Chapel Hill had become a sort of home away from home (which our station adviser can attest to…she’s seen the band seven or eight times!). He also stated that the band was going to take a break to record and spend time with their families, and that this would be their last show for a while. I think we have good things to look forward to from Miniature Tigers in a couple months; if they focus on keeping their sound interesting, I’m sure the new album will be well-received!
A few side-notes: Local 506, as always, was great. The ticket salesperson was friendly, and the sound was not muddled in the slightest. Every instrument could be distinctly heard, even when standing right next to the stage! Though I didn’t get off work in time to see the opening bands, I heard promising things about both The Grapes‘ indie rock and Lilac Shadows‘ shoegaze pop. From what my friends said, I think both bands have potential that hasn’t been realized yet.
|#1||JAILL||That’s How We Burn||Sub Pop|
|#2||MAPS AND ATLASES||Perch Patchwork||Barsuk|
|#3||WAVVES||Kind of the Beach||Fat Possum|
|#4||LIGHTS ON||Here Comes the Ocean||self-released|
|#5||DAN SARTAIN||Dan Sartain Lives||One Little Indian|
|#6||LONE WOLF||The Devel and I||Bella Union|
|#7||BEST COAST||Crazy for You||Mexican Summer|
|#8||BOOKS||The Way Out||Temporary Residence|
|#9||ARCADE FIRE||The Suburbs||Merge|
|#10||MINIATURE TIGERS||Fortress||Modern Art|
Indie rock/pop band Miniature Tigers will swing by the WKNC studios this Friday for an interview with Dr. J and DJ Audity. The group joins Acrylics as support for The Morning Benders that evening at Local 506 in Chapel Hill before they head down to Austin to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day at the South by Southwest music conference and festival.
Miniature Tigers released their first full-length album Tell it to the Volcano in 2008. MusicRemedy reports the band will release its second full-length album, FORTRESS, June 1 on Modern Art Records.
North Carolina’s own singer-songwriter and the former front-man of the band Ben Folds Five, Ben Folds will be making an appearance at the Durham Performing Arts Center on Feb 25th with the Miniature Tigers.
How do I win?:
Bribes. Just kidding. Glad you asked though faithful KNC listener! In order to win our ticket giveaways for this great show, tune in Monday through Wednesday (Feb 23rd-25th) and listen to the daytime rock deejays. We’ll be spinning various song clips from both bands. Guess the correct song title, be the first caller, and you’ll be on your way to see Ben and the Tigers play an incredible show.
Miniature Tigers’ debut provides quick, yet infectious experience
General Manager, WKNC 88.1 FM
Despite being named as “one of the 25 best bands on Myspace” in December 2006 by Rolling Stone magazine, Miniature Tigers remain largely anonymous. But this Pheonix, Ariz., band, masterminded by singer/guitarist Charlie Brand and drummer Rick Schaier, have released an album of harmonious, catchy, indie-pop songs which threaten to permeate throughout the popular music scene much like Vampire Weekend and MGMT did earlier this year.
Miniature Tigers’ debut, Tell it to the Volcano, was released this September, and the band embarked on its first ever national tour in October.
Volcano opens with a track called “Cannibal Queen” which is reminiscent of Ben Kweller in style and delivery, maintaining a straight road towards a state of light, breezy, indie pop. Other standouts like the title track, “The Wolf,” “Annie Oakley” and “Tchaikovsky & Solitude” represent a continuation of the style the album builds from its opener, and each track is as catchy as the Bubonic Plague.
Listening to Tell it to the Volcano in its entirety, Miniature Tigers sounds like a seasoned band, not one that’s just beginning to tour. All the pieces of the complex pop songs fit together just right, making them stick in your head after only one listen. The major flaw of the album lies not within the content, but with the sheer lack of quantity. The album has 11 tracks, none of which exceed three minutes and 31 seconds, bringing the total album length to a paltry 29:05. A short collection of two minute songs can serve to curb the musical ADHD which listeners can oftentimes suffer, but ultimately the brevity of the album leaves the consumer craving more content.
An excerpt from their website perhaps sums them up best: “Miniature Tigers combine influences ranging from The Beatles to The Beach Boys, from Pinkerton to Indiana Jones, creating infectious, pitch perfect indie-pop that boldly wears its heart on its sleeve. In the world of Miniature Tigers, songs of unrequited love and relationship anxiety are transformed with animal metaphors and translated into gripping adventure narratives populated by Vikings, swashbucklers, gunfighters, cannibals, undersea creatures and dinosaurs.”