Please, Please, Ha Ha Tonka & Rocky Votolato. Folk Yeah.

Remember, Remember, the Fifth of November: after seeing three incredible bands perform at Emos, how could I ever forget?

The line up: Jessie Torrisi & the Please, Please Me/ Ha Ha Tonka/ Rocky Votolato

Local Austin band, Jessie Torrisi & The Please, Please Me

shook up the stage by switching instruments every song, as though playing a game of Musical Chairs.  The drummer moved to trumpet, then to keyboard.  Jessie, at first, on guitar and vocals, switched to drums.  The Cellist grabbed a bass.  The guitarist, well, he stayed put.  But you get the idea! The music reminded me of a female Bob Dylan mixed with a more spunky sounding Melissa Etheridge.  Their many gimmicks, like beat boxing into the microphone and then playing the sound on repeat throughout the rest of the song, AND THE KAZOO THROWING, added the perfect flair to their set.  Especially because I snagged a kazoo and got to join the musicians on stage for a song.  😛

When to listen: when relaxing alone, on a quiet night or morning.

Song recommendation: Hungry Like Me.

Ha Ha Tonka: 

From Missouri,  Ha Ha Tonka self-describes their sound as “foot stompin’ indie rock” — enough incentive in itself to give it listen  A beautiful blend of danceyness and soul, these guys got me moving, and my jaw dropping, especially during the four-part harmony mid-set, when they abandoned their instruments and accapella-d their way into my heart.  They will return for SXSW.  GO. SEE. THEM.

Sounds like: Mumford & Sons, The Swell Season

Song Recommendations: “Gusto,” “St. Nick on Fourth and Fervor,” “Caney Island”

Rocky Votolato (pronounced “Voh-tow-lot-oh”) joined Ha Ha in their last song.  He’s an act it pays to see live, as his performance is virtually flawless (I read in an interview his worst habit is perfectionism, which I completely can attest to, after hearing how immaculate his set was).  He cringed when the crowd requested “Suicide Medicine,” the song that made him most popular.  Perhaps, because in comparison to the others, it is more, dare I say “emo,” with its mention of suicide, cutting wires and angst.  “All right,” he said, “let’s just get this over with.”  Fortunately, WordPress won’t allow me to upload my videos from my roommates camera, because it’s an .AVI.  Word of advice: if singing (in my case, shrieking) along, hold the camera at least a foot away from you. . . yeah, as I said, “fortunately.”

The encore impressively lasted four songs, including one of my favorites: “The Uppers Aren’t Necessary,” which I recommend listening to along with these gems:

“Portland is Leaving,” “Passing White Daisy,” “Suicide Medicine,” “Red River,” “Makers.”

A video someone posted on YouTube from the show:

P.s. The co-owner of Emos, tatted out from shoulder to wrist, ROCKS.  He gave me and my friend free drinks just because I recognized him as a customer at my coffee shop.  😀

Some extra photos:







Rocky, if you see this, please come back soon.


About kimmerlyaj

Hey, there! Thanks for reading my blog, Polished Pear Creative Editing. My name is Amanda Kimmerly, and I devote my time and talent to making manuscripts publisher-ready. If you have an unedited book, or have started one of any genre, please connect! Cheers!
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One Response to Please, Please, Ha Ha Tonka & Rocky Votolato. Folk Yeah.

  1. I did not know that you knew James Franco.

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