Review: Januar @ Walnut Room
Being a native of Littleton, I felt an immediate affinity for Januar while researching their Myspace Music page. Their profile was incredibly straightforward. From: Littleton (who owns up to that?); influences: Jeff Buckley, Mojave 3, Sigur Ros; band name is Icelandic for "January," and they're wearing woolly beanies in their thumbnail picture. In the rest of the photos -- even through minor line-up changes -- they look like best friends forever. Often with their arms around one another and ear-to-ear grins across their glowing faces. "Januar in Pittsburgh '06...1st tour ever." More than anything, they looked primed to win the battle of the bands in a dramatic, underdog One Crazy Summer fashion.
Seeing them on stage a few hours later, however, I mostly thought of a favorite old pair of pants. Not a specific pair, it was just that everything about their presence was soft and comfortable. The music may not have been my size, but the musicianship was no poly-blend. Januar played lush, penetrating music that paid fine homage to their listed influences and generated more texture than most three-pieces are able to (plus they didn't get mad when the drummer dropped her sticks, and, like best friends, they traded guitars from time to time). Sealing the deal: there wasn't a shred of irony in their cover of Alan Parsons Project's, "Eye in the Sky." Januar took that ‘80s dust bunny and made it shine like a new dime, Littleton style. -Josh Tyson
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.