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Mimes R Us

By Mike Breen · January 13th, 2010 · Spill It

The first time I put on Got to Tell the World, the new album by local Pop/Rock foursome Screaming Mimes, and cued up the first track, “You’re the Kind of Girl,” I listened for about a minute then had to run outside to pay my parking meter. Walking back to the office, I found myself already singing the chorus hook in my head, totally unconsciously. That’s a sign of great songwriting, showing singer/guitarist David Storm’s intuitive grasp of what makes an instantly memorable Pop melody.

World (the band’s third LP) is, start to finish, loaded with these kinds of ear-candy hooks. If you don’t have a handful of these melodies in your head after listening to the album once, you should see an otologist. The band can lean toward a “Soft Rock” side at times — the tune “Open” could have made Toto a million dollars — but the sturdy songcraft still shines through. The tracks that feature a strong, upbeat groove seem to work best: “Motion” and “Beating Like a Drum” (among others) infuse Ska rhythms, sounding a bit like The Samples. “The Saddest Girl in the World” has an anthemic quality and Third Eye Blindish jaunt, while the “hidden track,” “It’s Not Over,” gives the band a chance to show off their musicianship as they go nuts during a 10-minute jam.

The Mimes show versatility on World and, despite a few down moments, it’s the sort of album you can put on and know that your mood and spirit will be lifted.

The band does “An Evening with …”-type show Saturday at the Southgate House, performing the entire night sans openers.

They’ll kick things off with an acoustic set, play the new album in full and close things out with a run through of their back catalog (and perhaps some surprises). In between sets, the Mimes will screen their documentary Behind the Mask as well as other new video footage.

(Show details here; hear the band's music at www.screamingmimes.com)

Girls’ Nights Out

Things seem to have progressed since the Lilith Fair festival began in 1997 as a response to female performers’ exclusion from other big fests of the time. Not that sexism doesn’t still exist — the playing field just seems more level these days. Kelly Thomas, organizer of Friday and Saturday’s “One More Girl on a Stage” benefit concerts at the York Street Cafe, says the idea of putting together a lineup with mostly women isn’t some sort of equal opportunity statement.

“This isn’t a series about lack of opportunity for women in the local music scene,” Thomas says. “Far from it. If you have good songs and put on an entertaining show, the music scene will make room for you regardless.”

This year’s OMG event again features a broad range of musical styles and some fun additions like the Black-n-Bluegrass Rollergirls lending a hand and chanteuse Vicki D’Salle hostessing. Performers include Thomas (playing with Ryan Malott), Lauren Houston, Tupelo Honey, Wonky Tonk, The Polly Esthers, Raison D’etre, Shiny and The Spoon, J. Dorsey Blues Revival, De Los Muertos, Jenny Ward, Stick Figure Drawings, Carole Walker and Smitten Hicks.

Proceeds from the fest go to the Susan G. Komen Foundation for breast cancer research. An exhibition on the Cafe’s top floor will feature the work of Art Academy student Sarah Baker (among other artists), who has been documenting her mother’s now-terminal breast cancer struggle.

Music begins at 7 p.m. both nights. (Get show details for Friday here and Saturday here.)

CONTACT MIKE BREEN: mbreen@citybeat.com



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