By Dennis G. Keat
Photograph of The Flusters By Kelly Segré
For decades, Indie music has carried with it a reputation for being incredibly experimental, with an affinity for theatrics. And while the genre is an all encompassing term for musicians that are unsigned to a major label, oftentimes, it also refers to musicians that push the boundaries of what it means to be a musical artist. On Friday, November 8, 2019, Gré Coffeehouse in Palm Springs was proud to present three such artists: Gabriella Evaro, Jame Doe, and The Flusters.
Hailing from Joshua Tree, the musical styling of Gabriella Evaro blurs the line between live music and performance art. Armed with an array of looping pedals and the tremendous ability to improvise, Gabriella creates a unique musical atmosphere for each song; no song is ever performed the same way twice. At the beginning of each song, she prepares her loops one by one. As she plays and records each piece of her larger puzzle, the audience can see the gears turning in her mind, and are left in this slow-building anticipation for whatever comes next. You can tell Gabriella shares in the crowd’s excitement as all of her pieces seamlessly come together, because she smiles and dances along all the way from start to finish. The sheer amount of technical ability on display makes Gabriella Evaro worthy of repeat viewings, but it’s that shared feeling of exploration and excitement between performer and audience that puts her over the top.
With Palm Springs being his next stop while on tour, Portland-based Jame Doe surprised Gré Coffeehouse with a stripped-back, yet powerful vocal performance. Accompanied only by a drummer and some prerecorded keys, Jame Doe’s voice rang out through the house with almost raw emotion. Every song told a story, and each was as emotionally significant as the last. The song “Done Said Boo” hit particularly hard, with the trumpets featured in its chorus inspiring a quick dance break for both Jame Doe and his audience. Any opportunity to see this vocal powerhouse should be taken.
Originally from Palm Desert, self-described dream-surf rock band The Flusters brought the night at Gré to a close. It was their second time at the Coffeehouse, and hopefully not their last. With a sound almost reminiscent of early Modest Mouse, The Flusters captivate their audience and serenade them with dreamy rock ballads. Dream-surf is a very appropriate descriptor for the group; the band’s performance of their almost 4 minute instrumental track, “When It’s Late at Night,” felt like Dick Dale playing on the Moon. And despite the flow-y melodies the band is accustomed to, they are very high energy on stage, dancing and jamming with the crowd to every track. The Flusters are a band that should be on every indie rocker’s radar.