[ATTENDED: October 8, 2016] J&L Defer
It was raining pretty hard when I left for The Stony Pony. Doors were at 7, I imagined Alex G (who was billed along with Built to Spill) would go on around 7:30, Built to Spill would go on no later than 9 and I’d be home early.
So I was bummed when I walked in at 7:30 and saw that there was another opening band called J&L Defer and that they would be going on at 8, and that BtS would not be going on until 10. Ugh.
I assumed that J&L Defer (what a weird name) were some local band. I was surprised to discover that they were a duo and that they were not there to rock us, but to play some shapeless noodling. And, as soon as the guitar played a piercing note (opening acts tend to sound worse than the headliner and tend to hurt my ears much more), I got some earplugs.
And then they started playing some seemingly random trippy stuff with occasional (hard to hear) vocals. So I looked them up during their set (rude, I know, but was way in the back) and learned that J&L Defer (pronounced DEF-er) are actually Anita Rufer and Gabriele De Mario, the core duo of Switzerland’s Disco Doom (a band I don’t know). J&L Defer (he gave several possible explanations for the name, but i didn’t quite understand him) is meant to be a looser, more nebulous offing from these two. And it is that.
De Mario plays electric guitar and sings. His voice is quiet/gentle and most of his guitar work is full of interesting chords or mellow riffs. Rufer also plays guitar and plays chords that are either complementary or, at times, contradictory. She also played keys and sang. Most songs had very simple (cheap) drum machine.
I really didn’t enjoy their live set. Most of the songs sounded improvised and formless. However, they ended the set with “Hard Fiction Road,” which was their album’s “single.” The guitar riff is very simple, but really catchy and I loved the addition of live drums to the track.
When I got home I checked out their disc on bandcamp and it’s pretty interesting–far more interesting than their live set. I think it either doesn’t translate well to a club like The Stone Pony or as part a bill with much louder bands. This is for quiet, at home listening and I’m glad I was exposed to it, just not at that venue.
No setlist available.