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The Rosebuds, Tracy Shedd

Solar Culture Gallery, Wednesday, Nov. 26

Love--the kind that makes you want to sway and smile and hold a stranger's hand--was in the air the night before Thanksgiving at Solar Culture, offering one heck of a way to commence an extended holiday break.

Two husband-and-wife teams started things off. Local (but well-traveled) singer/songwriter Tracy Shedd and her husband, Jim Tritten, produced catchy melodies while Becca and Michael Hummer formed the flawless rhythm section on bass and drums. Shedd's latest release, Cigarettes and Smoke Machines, is the album hard-core Liz Phair fans wish she would have written instead of going the more-commercial route.

They opened with a polite reminder that it's "Never Too Late" to fight for what you want. Jim tested the structural integrity of the wall behind him as he passionately shredded his way through the hard-hitting "Whatever It Takes." His energy--a little out of place during laid-back parts of their set--was perfectly appropriate during the fuzzed-out drama of "Remember the Time We Set the Highway on Fire."

The Rosebuds were a bit late getting into town. Despite the chaotic setup process, they appeared somewhat energized. While it seemed their voices weren't gelling at first, Ivan Howard and Kelly Crisp found a groove after a couple of songs, and their brand of dance-inducing folk-pop filled the room with contagious smiles and moving feet.

Audience member and ardent fan Heather Cordova aptly defined The Rosebuds' sound as "Kinks-esque pop with a gothic-Americana twist." During "Bow to the Middle"--a commentary on modern religious thought from their latest release, Life Like--Ivan taught the audience a dance that involved bowing, twisting and turning, complete with lots of giggling. "Get Up Get Out" was an electronic number that ranked up there with the best of what New Order has to offer, even causing Crisp to abandon the keyboard to dance with her adoring fans.

To close, the band brought their instruments into the audience for a couple of intimate call-and-response songs. "Nice Fox," Howard explained, was about a silver fox who lived and ultimately died in his backyard shed. It was intense and intimate, uniting the small crowd. Love was most definitely in the air.

More by Mel Mason

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