The Monolith Agency consists of three dudes who know what they’re doing. And what they’re doing is supporting, promoting and showcasing the best of Anchorage’s flourishing music scene.
Last weekend they put together two nights of local music that completely rocked my face off. About a year ago I heard the Super Saturated Sugar Strings when they were just starting out. They weren’t bad, just a little scattered and jangly for my tastes. I could tell they were having fun though and that goes a long way to make up for other minor shortcomings. Let me tell you, folks, when I saw them on the first night of this year’s Monolith showcase they blew me away. They have recently returned from several months on the road, which obviously did a lot to tighten up their sound and work the kinks out in their stage presence. They have a sound that is a delightful combination of rock n’ roll and Eastern European folk. They are made for hip swaying and moonshine swigging. Also, they have a cello. There are few things I love more than a rock cellist.
Although they tend towards the more depressive side of indie rock, I maintain that Ghost Hands is one of my favorite local acts. Although it might have had something to do with the amount of bourbon consumed, by the end of their set I was in the throes of a full-on shoe gazing, eyes closed solo dance party in the middle of the dance floor. They remind me just enough of Sunny Day Real Estate to evoke a sense of nostalgia without sounding too derivative of any one thing to be annoying. If it was socially acceptable to lay on the floor of a bar and stare at the ceiling while listening to a live band: this would be that band.
Saturday proved to be another night custom designed for maximum music enjoyment. Both nights sold out and rumor has it that the Taproot ran out of PBR by the middle of the Saturday night show. This is testament to the power of hipster music lovers, surely. Saturday night started out softly, with Hawkins Wright and his intensely powerful yet poppy as hell songs getting the party started. Fairbanks natives, Young Fangs followed that up with the kind of solid, down-to-Earth rock n’ roll that is impossible to ignore. Putting on by far one of the best live performances I’ve seen from them, The Modern Savage whipped everybody into a frenzy then set them loose on that beloved bearded DJ; Alex the Lion.
The full line-up also featured Emma Hill, The Sweeteners, Historian and LaVoy, who turned out an incredible set with all new material. This event was Monolith’s second annual showcase and if this year was any indication, you’ll want to buy advance tickets for next year’s event before it sells out.