Six-piece family band Miner opened this past Tuesday night’s Cayucas show at the Media Club. Husband and wife Justin and Kate Miner formed the core of this Los Angeles/Silver Lake folk-rock band, but as their sound grew, they enlisted his brother Jeremy, his cousin Amanda Koosed, and two “lifelong friends” Justin Krook and David Schechtman to bring their vision to life.
Miner certainly made the most of their time onstage. They rollicked through songs from their debut album, Into the Morning, including “Dawn”, “Golden Ocean”, “Carousel”, “When I Win You Over” (with thumping harmonica by Kate), and “Coal Mine”. Accordion sounds emanated from a corner out of my sight, although they could have been pre-programmed on Amanda’s keyboard.
As great as Miner were musically and in the spirit they brought to their performance; even after having tried to initiate multiple clap-alongs; even having ended with, “We’re Miner. Thanks for hanging out! Feel free to dance along,” they garnered almost zero reaction. Not even their finely, finely folkified version of Modest Mouse’s “3rd Planet” aroused much more than the stir of initial recognition. I’m still perplexed as to how Miner failed to make people move – or rather how people failed to move to Miner. But even though the crowd barely swayed, Miner were able to have fun amongst themselves, and that’s all right, because the family that laughs together is the family that stays together, and I have a feeling Miner won’t be calling it quits any time soon.
Unlike the rootsy Miner, Santa Monica’s Cayucas were aloof; their salty, sea breeze pop-rock, which included the songs “Cayucos”, “East Coast Girl”, and “Will ‘The Thrill'”, filled the club with an uplifting, coral-coloured glow.
But Cayucas sounded best when they slowed down and played in low scales. Singer Zach Yudin ditched his guitar to deliver the underwater dream “Deep Sea” with a Julian Casablancas swagger, from the way he mumble-sang to his “oohs!”, even to the way he held his mic cord (ironic given that Casablancas is a New Yorker). Or throw a casual suit on Yudin, and he could have been Father John Misty. Cayucas also proved to have been more than tropicool, happy-go-lucky indie rock with was the lumbering “Bigfoot”, a close runner-up against “Deep Sea” for my favourite song of the night.
Although Vancouver fans were chilly towards Miner, and Cayucas only warmed the crowd enough to dance a little, the reception both bands received still beat Toronto’s weather: “That was the coldest we’d ever been,” Cayucas told the audience. By now, Cayucas and Miner have wrapped up their tour and are probably extra glad to be back in California, out of the cold.
For more photos from the show, check out the gallery on Vancouver Weekly‘s Facebook page.