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Like Living Dressy

By Tankboy in Arts & Entertainment on Jul 7, 2006 6:03PM

We’re not going to waste your time telling you just how terrific Dressy Bessy is. In our book a cute girl plus sunny melodies plus tight-as-an-L.A.-forehead songs equal aural bliss divided by an ear to ear smile. The fact Dressy Bessy is simply playing would be enough for us to urge you to get yer butts on over to The Abbey this Sunday. No, instead we want to tell you about an undiscovered gem currently touring with Ms. Bessy (yes, we know “no one is Pink” in the band, we’re doing it because we’re feeling frisky today).

2006_07_living_blue.jpgThe Living Blue cut their teeth downstate in Champaign and the town’s influence can be heard in the power drumming style that propels that curiously distinctive guitar-tone that seems to get cultivated and passed from band to band like a sacred flame in that particular college town. Don’t get us wrong, though, they are no mini Menthol/Hum/Poster Children clone or anything. But they certainly do share some of the spirit that makes/made all of those bands noteworthy in the first place.

One might even attribute it to the Midwestern Work Ethic™ (we’re trademarking that before the city gets to it) that seems to produce bands that compose songs with workmanlike precision to pummel audiences with the greatest effect. In this The Living Blue excels. They’re too melodic to be punk, and too hard to be pop, and not nearly drunk enough to be metal. The title of their latest disc, “Fire, Blood, Water,” actually does a pretty nifty job of summing up their sound. This is a group as basic as the elements and just as necessary. Every song houses a guitar line that is just trying to get from Point A to Point B with only one purpose driving that melody: it wants to win you over, make you sweat, and believe in the power of love.

Oh wait, that very last point should have gone in our Huey Lewis preview from last week that never ran. Sorry. Okay, The Living Blue DO want to win you over, make you sweat, and … remind you that rock and/or roll should still be a transcendent experience grounded in the dusty knuckles of everyman.

Also opening, and just as deserving of another 350 words of praise, is Chicago duo The Like Young. This a helluva way to spend a Sunday night!