Posted by: Cory | March 9, 2008

REVIEW: The Photographic & Hotpipes @ the Pour Haus – 3/8

The Pour Haus was host Saturday night to the CD release show for The Photographic’s album Pictures of a Changing World (review).

A side project of The Photographic is The Montagues, who started off the night with a good set of radio-ready dance rock. I’d spoken with Jamey the night before & learned about the existence of this otherwise unknown band & was glad to see they managed to fit a set in for the night. After the show, we had a chance to speak with Bryan & he let us on to a few secrets about the band, which included some pretty heated discussions about the initially proposed name, but wouldn’t turn over the details to it…only that it was somewhere in the same vein as The Montagues, which the band was able to settle on.

The Montagues are Jamey, Jesse & Chad of The Photographic plus two of their friends. They initially started a year or so ago, but other projects (such as the aforementioned album) got in the way, but they recently resumed (much to our pleasure). Jesse’s role in The Montagues switches from visual to audio as he’s on Bass. Jamey & Chad maintain their roles at guitar & drums, respectively. The real added bit though is Bryan at the mic, adding a deep voice, and (perhaps too much) flair and animation at the front. That said, his enthusiasm over their sound puts you in the mood to dance. Of course, this being Louisville…the kids don’t dance. Despite some sound system troubles at the start of the set, I was really impressed with the performance. Something I really enjoyed was the stage set-up of the guys. They initially created a wall of bodies, having all three guitars and the singer standing essentially right next to one another, which is something you only see in old bluegrass bands. While it might have been a function of the size of the stage, I really enjoyed the aesthetic of it all. They closed with “Sentimental Gentleman”, which Bryan claimed to have been their single (despite no recording sessions of yet), but the claim can be considered a 1/2 truth because it was truly a ready-for-air track.

Keep a look out for these guys…and expect a recording session within the next few months, depending upon the touring of The Photographic.

Next up were the Hotpipes from Nashville, who just had two CD release shows in Nashville and Newport this past week for their new album, Future Bolt. I was upset at the start of the set, because it seemed that the room cleared out. I’m not sure whether they simply didn’t know the Hotpipes, or whether the cold air entering through the Pour Haus’ exhaust had something to do with it, but I was shocked. Nevertheless, Jonathan sat down to his keyboard and rocked it. The entire band were wearing orange and blue jump suits, which Jonathan told us afterwards were part of an earlier costume involving vegetable heads (he was a carrot), but that sadly some of the heads didn’t survive (picture). The jump suits were pretty rad as they were.

Hotpipes played a great dance-rock style that’s hard to put a finger on, but easy to shake your butt to. I often complain how nobody dances in this city (and to avoid embarrassment as the one person, I don’t either), which made me happy to see a couple foregoing all reservations and having fun up front dancing together as the band banged away at piano keys, drums, maracas, tambourines, whistles, trumpets, and electric and bass guitars. Interestingly, perhaps in strong promotion of the new album, they played it straight through…from the first track to the last…topping it off with an unreleased song. They’ve been promoting the new album pretty strongly and getting a lot of positive feedback from it, including a recent spot in WOXY’s Lounge Series.

Lastly, the honored guests of the night stepped up to the stage and the cold was melted away as The Photographic played their warm, beautiful, ambient rock we came to see. The crowd seemed to notice this and reunited nearer to the stage as the red glow dissipated, only to be replaced by the glow of Jesse’s visual presentation. While Jesse has been doing the visual component to the show for a while now, he took Saturday’s performance to a completely new level as he actually mixed the visuals during the performance. In previous instances, he had prepared the effects in advance, but Saturday’s performance was live and you could feel his DJ skills (as Jesse Jamz of Them Shitz) coming through in the way he mixed the video to perfectly correspond to Chad’s drumming; editing the colors and contrasts, blurs and distortions. In a way, he was the vocalist of the night, as he narrated the story being laid out by Jamey & Chad.

It’s impossible to describe what the Photographic are and what they do. They weave together so many textures of sound that is meant to be heard and not talked about. Perhaps most impressively, they do it so effortlessly. I don’t mean effortlessly to the point they appear bored, but rather quite the opposite; they appear to be as soothed by their own music as the audience. Your mind wanders aimlessly when listening to it. In some ways it’s like those old 3D stereogram drawings where you had to stare beyond the image itself to see the image pop out. When listening to The Photographic, it’s best not to focus too much on what they are playing or how, and let your mind drift…only then can the magnitude of it all be fully appreciated…only then can the story be fully told.

You have a few more opportunities to see The Photographic coming up before they head out for a mini-tour of sorts (hopefully developing into a full-size one soon). They’ll be playing this Tuesday at 6pm at Ear x-tacy, in promotion of the new album being officially released on that date, and again this summer at Terrastock (get your tickets now). I cannot encourage this album highly enough. It’s perfect for those introspective moments when you’re driving, running, on the subway…time when you’re not going to be distracted & have your meditative moment broken. For those buying the album, be sure to recognize that it is an interactive CD. It won’t play automatically, so you have to go in and open the file yourself to catch Jesse’s visuals set to Jamey & Chad’s sound. Turn the lights off, set your computer screen to full-screen mode, and relax.

For complete set lists & pictures,

Hot Pipes Set List

  1. The Future is Where We Belong
  2. Future Bolt
  3. A Brain and a Vegetable
  4. You Burn or You Don’t
  5. Born in a Bomb
  6. Thunder Bolt
  7. Where is the Shore
  8. I am Better than You
  9. Accidental

The Montagues


The Photographic



  1. good review. I have the flu :( so I couldnt be there.

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