Lara's 1,2,3 review:

1,2,3 at 7th Street Entry, Minneapolis (and New Heaven album review)

Tour Dates
3.20 - Los Angeles, CA -Bootleg Theater
3.22 - San Francisco, CA - Bottom of the Hill #
3.25 - Seattle, WA - High Dive #
3.26 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir #
3.28 - Denver, CO - Larimer Lounge #
4.10 - Brooklyn, NY - Knitting Factory &
4.11 - New York, NY - Mercury Lounge - early show &
4.12 - Philadelphia, PA - Kung Fu Necktie &
4.13 - Washington, DC - Red Palace &
4.14 - Pittsburgh, PA - Smiling Moose &

# with Milagres
& with Howler Read More

One of the band opening up for the Yellow O is 1,2,3. Their debut LP is called New Heaven (out now on Frenchkiss Records). You can grab their free EP, "Dreamland Pt 1 (For Daisy" on Soundcloud.
1,2,3 @ 7th Street Entry, Minneapolis 3.10.12
(&New Heaven album review)

Much has been written about the size and acoustics of the 7th Street Entry, the consensus being: great for a thrashy rock show, not so great for an intimate tête-à-tête with close pals. Solo artists fare better on weeknights when the crowd is smaller and chatter is minimal; by the time the weekend rolls around, the tiny venue is generally packed to the brim with gossipy co-eds.

Unfortunately, this was the case Saturday night. A family emergency left Pittsburgh duo 1,2,3 a band of 1, as singer Nic Snyder took the stage alone—the fortuitous singer-songwriter. Armed only with guitar and the kind of cool conviction that comes from years of paying your dues in shitty, near-empty dives, Snyder seemed unfazed by the circumstances. He played selections from their 2011 debut LP New Heaven, including the 7” single “Confetti,” an urgent stomp fest that grasps at mortality in a no-frills manner. Curiously, Snyder also did the one thing least expected from an opening act (a position that’s often assigned the thankless chore of keeping the crowd energized for the headliner): he sang a lullaby. “It Gets Dark” was written for the singer’s niece, as part of a compilation of soothing bedtime music aptly titled Dreamland Pt. 1 (For Daisy). Released somewhat under the radar, Dreamland features Snyder’s tender side, a virtue largely absent fromNew Heaven, which will be discussed later.

For those in the audience previously unfamiliar with 1,2,3—myself included—it’s a shame the show was on the whole unremarkable (though at one point Snyder invited his bandmates onstage to finish the set, which was a good call and helped dim the clarity of side-conversations). New Heaven is an impressive—no doubt, ambitious—debut. Musically, it runs the gamut of highly-stylized genres, from folk rock (“Work”) to Animal Collective-esque flutters (“Lonesome Boring Summer”) to the openly peculiar (a spooky ballad that sounds like a 50s prom song in Lynchian suburbia; “Just Like Heaven (Is Gone)”).

Within the blogosphere, “Work” is widely regarded as a neo-blue collar anthem, and it certainly sounds that way. From the opening beat that suggests the rhythmic trance of an assembly line, to the cinematic texture, to the actual lyrics—“the age of Sinatra still exists in some bars / I’ve been working with my hands so far”—“Work” shares rhetoric with the working-class American folk rockers of the past. Fellow East Coaster Bruce Springsteen’s niche was sprawling Americana, and in effect he heightened that feeling of being a little number thrown into the mix with other little numbers. While the Boss never subscribed to the school of Marxism, he touched on the themes; specifically, the nameless discontent that plagues “ordinary lives.” Snyder and bandmate/co-founder Josh Sickelsadopt a similar ethos. “Work” is just one example—the most obvious, perhaps—but the album is full of other allusions to a collective restlessness. Snyder described the album’s lyrical concept as “big natural disasters and apocalyptic situations interrupting regular people's lives” (from 2011 Earmilk interview); the end of the world, as viewed through the lens of, presumably, you and me(assuming we’re neither heroes nor martyrs). And what would we do in the end—grapple our way to the top of the skyscraper, save a busload of children, or, would we spend that time kissing the girl we’ve always loved? Synder seems to know the answer.

1,2,3 is Nic Snyder (vocals, guitar) and Josh Sickels (drums, percussion); the live band includes Mike Yamamoto (guitar, keyboard) and Chad Monticue (bass, vocals, glockenspiel). The band is currently on tour through April, with selected dates at SXSW. For more information, visit their website or Facebook page. You can purchase New Heaven via Frenchkiss Records. Dreamland Pt. 1 is available for free download HERE.
Shared publicly