A Winter Drum Kit Diorama and Tuesday Nights

New Jersey lo-fi indie group Long Neck traveled far from their East Coast home to play the Red Raven Espresso Parlor Aug. 21.

The start of a new school year is a largely depressing, lackluster time. Ripped from days spent on the lake, you trade your swimsuit in for a backpack and sleepily trudge to class. Luckily, my spirits were lifted by the live entertainment at the Red Raven.

The all-ages show charged a mere $5 to spend the evening with four great bands. Opening the show were local favorites Polly the Panelist, who (as their Bandcamp bio promised) created candy for our ears. The alternative rock group performed songs from throughout their catalog, including one about lucid dreaming and another about addiction.

Check out: “Miss Violence” from “Live at Ken’s FM;” “At the Glow” from “Live Again at Ken’s FM”

Relative newcomers Naivety followed with their engaging take on ambient indie and shoegaze rock. The band debuted on the scene at Grandpa’s House in Moorhead over the summer and have already released their first full length, “Endear.” While the group clearly focuses on crafting engaging soundscapes, their lyrics are hard-hitting and thought provoking. The energy they all bring to their shows gives their music an infectious quality when experienced live.

Check out: “Mender” and “Endear” from “Endear”

Touring support for Long Neck, Fern Mayo took the stage following Naivety. The one-woman group consisting of Katie Capri introduced the audience to her punky indie flavor. Her all at once melodic and monotone vocals with active guitar work were an unexpected blend that just works.

Check out: “Pinesol” from “Hex Signs;” “Chomping at the Bit” from “Happy Forever”

The main event was up next, with Long Neck finally rocking the audience’s socks off. Their folk-indie rock and bubbly personality made them instant hits. The band’s set was made even more entertaining by the cotton balls packed in their bass drum periodically flying out. While some bands have smoke machines, Long Neck has a bass drum snow (much cheaper and more entertaining). Lead guitarist and vocalist Lily likened the spectacle to a winter diorama.

Check out: “Lichen” and “Matriarch” from “Will This Do?”

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