Sunday, April 7, 2013

Play ball with Sylvan Wolfe

The Wilmington band Sylvan Wolfe and former New York Yankees OF Oscar Gamble kind of have absolutely nothing in common.

Yet it just feels so right putting ol' Oscar's card right over there.

Maybe it's because, like evil clowns and bad album covers, I'm obsessed with unintentionally funny baseball cards. I mean, what about this one, this one or this one?

Or maybe it just feels like it's time to go out and see some shows now that the baseball season is underway. Like, you could be going to check out a show tonight instead of watching the season premiere of "Mad Men," aka "Sopranos"-lite. (seriously, though, if you're going to stay in and watch TV, you should be watching "Game of Thrones" anyway.)

Or, most likely, I feel like it's worth the gamble of going out to see a band you might not have heard, like Sylvan Wolfe, in the same way Steinbrenner took a Gamble on Oscar Gamble for the 1976 season (it was a decent one, as "The Grouch" hit 17 dongs and racked up 57 RBI. Unfortunately, the Yanks didn't double down for another season - Gamble signed with the Chicago White Sox for the 1977 season and pounded 31 homers, racked up 83 RBI and hit .297 for a career year in which he finished 29th in the MVP voting).

Whether it's an interesting hybrid of blues and surf music, or a barrage or alt-rock, or smoldering folk, the band's tunes are all smothered in a warmingly gorgeous reverb capped off by singer Christa Boeykens' commanding vocals.

Sylvan Wolfe, which also features Peter Daly on drums, Jonathan Reed on bass and Son Bui and David Santini on guitars, has been hitting venues throughout the area of late, playing tunes from their EP, "Black Branch." That release features songs like "White Washed Soul," which is what it might have sounded like if Joan Osborne had taken it a step further in the directions of Janis Joplin and/or early 1990s Lollapalooza and a step further away from Lilith Fair shit. "Sheeps Clothes" and the title track are decidedly modern but still echo back to some cool '90s sounds. I don't know if that was intentional, but I'm down with it.

The band's next gig is April 27 at Mojo Main, 270 E. Main St., Newark, when they'll open for Wussy and The Cocks. The show, which starts at 8 p.m., is an 18 and over event and admission is $10.

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