Smile Politely

Show Review: World’s First Flying Machine/Collusion, The Canopy Club 11/28/07

The Canopy Club’s Void Room filled up relatively quick with a couple dozen friends of all three local bands. For a late show, this was a surprisingly big and encouraging turn out.

Collusion was the first band. They are an alternative and classic rock cover band, and played “Voodoo Chile,” “Evenflow,” a Black Crowes song, and a couple of others. But, these guys did something more than just play the songs straight up. Throwing in huge solos and a couple breakdowns, they adapted the songs and made them unique, even if they didn’t write them. Hopefully they’ll channel that into something they can really call their own.

Although they aren’t a cover band, the same thing can be said about the second band World’s First Flying Machine, brazenly wearing their influences tattooed on their eyelids. The Neutral Milk Hotel storm of influence started in Canada (a big influence on that whole scene), moved eastward into New York, swooping through the rest of the east coast, and has finally arrived in Champaign-Urbana.

There was a violin, ukulele, and xylophone to help fill out the bass, acoustic guitar, electric guitar and drums, and they really filled out the space. My favorite track of the night had to be the as-of-yet untitled song that starts with a creeping Godspeed You! Black Emperor intro that moves the fast paced indie-folk sing along. Getting quieter with “Butterflies,” the lead singer’s voice crooned like Jonathan Milburg in early Shearwater to a light acoustic finger picking. When projecting he resembles Page France and Rock Central Plaza’s singers.

The closing song played was called “Ferris Wheel.” This song is an admitted tribute to NMH’s “Two Headed Boy,” if not all of Aeroplane Over the Sea, and really is an obvious association. Tenacious D did it to “Stairway To Heaven,” but not quite to this extent. Direct images, word choices, delivery, and even lines are taken, rewording and merging the works of Jeff Mangum. The difference between music tribute and music plagiarism is very fine, and WFFM toes that line, but the potential they show in their songs, with their energy, and obvious talent, they’re sure to come into their own in no time. I’d definitely still recommend seeing them out at one of their upcoming shows. I think we’ll see them around here a lot.

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