Head of Femur
Story and Photos by Karen BondowskiOne by one as members of Head of Femur filed casually onto the Gunther Murphy's stage, fans eagerly rushed to the front, spilling their drinks along the way. Matt Focht, with enough hair to make a lion proud, stepped up to the mic as Ben Armstrong quickly tapped away at the keyboard with the intro to "80 Steps to Jonah." The quirky melody started marching out on strong legs then turned on a dime as the symphonic chorus set in. Tiffany Kowalski and Charlie Vinz raised their bows up and then down in total unison. As the song started to fade quietly, Nate Walcott and Max Crawford decided to cap the end off in grand fashion with Tiffany and Charlie massaging the delicate orchestrations. Next up, "Yeoman or Tinker," Mike shone in the spotlight as Matt took to backing vocals, as they both guided the light harmonies to a Sunday stroll in the park. On "Curve that Byrd," Mike vocals, backed by sweet Partridge Family harmonies and carnival inspired keyboards along with Sgt. Pepper orchestrations, took flight as the whole song soared together.
The band, gaining momentum and feeding off the audience, had the beaker boil over with the madcap tempo of "Science Needed a Medical Man." Head of Femur is about movement and energy. They looked like kids out on the first recess of summer. Their chaotic stage movements are truly genuine, not scripted, and stemming from their passion for music.
It took the audience only three chords into, "Acme: The Summit of a Mountain" before they turned into a flailing mass of pretzels. It was a musical uprising, melody competing with chorus and harmonies begging to fit in. Apparently the band knew the rules before they broke the rules. This song is quite simply a pop gem. Rich and uncut and proudly displaying its flaws.
"Easy Street" and "Manhattan" aggressively closed the strong set. Nate and Max took it to another level as their collective energy fed off of each other and carried out through the audience like a thirsty supervirus.
Head of Femur, with only one album under its belt, looks like its staking its claim on the musical landscape with a brash flair for originality and spontaneity while creating a delightful alter ego along the way.
Troubled Hubble is sort of a high school garage band who never got its diploma. The singer seemed intimidated at first. As the show began he rarely opened his eyes. As his courage grew he seemed to feel more at home as he said he felt he was playing a show for us in his bedroom. It was private, yes, but lacking intimacy. The band's energy level seemed to ebb and flow along with the audiences'. Possessing musical talents, but not quite finding it's identity Troubled Hubble might want to go back to the drawing board.
Be sure to check out Head of Femur as they are coming to The Onopa Brewing Company on Febuary 7th. 735 E. Center St. Milwaukee, WI 53212 (414)264-3630
Check out their website for more info http://www.headoffemur.com
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