Tonight’s Concert: Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band at Johnny Brenda’s
It’s easy to imagine Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band sitting around the living room and having a serious band talk after a particularly rough practice. After all, tensions rise in any band sooner or later, at which point a little cooling off and airing of grievances is probably a good idea for everyone involved. But this Seattle quartet is a special case: It’s an almost-all-in-the-family band composed of guitarist Benjamin Verdoes, his wife, keyboardist Traci Eggleston, and Verdoes’ adopted little brother, 15-year-old drummer Marshall. (Oh, right, we said quartet: pity poor bassist Jared Price, the only one who isn’t part of the family—and who has probably had to play peacemaker on more than one occasion.) We’re sure all is fine and dandy in the Verdoes/Eggleston household, but there’s something about the band’s latest album—Where The Messengers Meet (released last month on Dead Oceans)—that troubles us. Maybe it’s the gloomy line in the press release that states, “The recording of Where The Messengers Meet was a patient process, conducted over eight months, in part during Seattle’s darkest and rainiest time of year.” Or perhaps it’s just that, compared to the band’s poppy, 2009 self-titled debut, Messengers seems like kind of a joyless (but no less accomplished) affair. Here’s to hoping there are no family spats on stage when Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band opens for The Boxer Rebellion and Amusement Parks On Fire at 8:30 p.m. at Johnny Brenda’s; tickets to the 21+ show are $10-$12.