two bars three stars: mike and cody, bright light social hour at DC9

14 Aug

Normally I don’t post show retrospectives for local music. Half the fun in writing about a local, up-and-coming band is to get readers excited about the music and promote the show. I tend to be overly enthusiastic about music I enjoy, so if I can infect a smidge of that enthusiasm among DC readers (and maybe even inspire you to check out a show you wouldn’t normally attend), then I’ve done my job.
However, last week got the best of me- I attended a wonderful show by a newish DC band, but it came up a bit spontaneously and I didn’t get to the blog in time. So forgive the lack of timeliness, but enjoy the abundance of awesome tunes. You’re welcome.
So, last Thursday, I saw a sweet double line up of Texas meets DC: Austin-based South by Southwest favorites Bright Light Social Hour, and two DC kids called Mike and Cody.

Bright Light Social Hour are a pretty well-established quartet, and they made such waves during SXSW 2011 that they received the coveted title of “Band of the Year” at the Austin Music Awards, which coincides with the festival. Honestly, you could hate their music, but you can’t not admire their collective facial hair. They’ve got 70s handlebar mustaches, mop-tops, ponytails, and mountain man beards- holy follicle power. Plus, they sound like the most awesome, bluesy dive-bar band you’ve ever heard.
Bright Light Social Hour, “Detroit”

But on the local music front, Bright Light Social Hour brought in a great local group to kick things off- Mike and Cody, a band with only two permanent members currently (named, you guessed it, Mike and Cody). I first heard about Mike and Cody as members of another favorite local band, the Nighttime Adventure Society. Riffing on the theory that one good band leads to another good band, I checked out their debut EP “Let’s Go” on Bandcamp. The songs were good, but in all honesty, all I heard was “DANCE PARTY!,” and attending the show was a no-brainer.

My suspicions were correct; particularly in a live format, the songs are obviously well-crafted and intricate, but also supremely catchy and danceable. Some disco elements lurk in those synth-pop melodies, and it all comes together in songs that are utterly charming and a tad earnest- but not without a “they-mean-business” guitar solo here and there. Perfect combo, yes?

Keep an eye out, DC.

Mike and Cody, “Let’s Go”

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