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The Scarlet & Black

DTCV and Spaceship land in Grinnell

DTCV lead singer Guylaine Vivarat crooning in Gardner. Photo by Emma Sinai-Yunker.

Despite the difficult Monday night slot, this past week’s performance proved an invigorating chance to let your spirit dance wildly. The opener was Spaceships, a distorted, drum/guitar garage rock outfit from Los Angeles. During the show, lead singer Jessie Waite’s vocals stretched to great heights before flipping into accusatory croaks, all the while pushing out power chords to the small crowd.

Spaceships’ technical ability was evident in the way they sped from lazed, valley-wide chords to aggressive punk on a dime. At the end of the set, Waite fell onto her knees with her guitar in true West coast punk fashion, before standing and thanking the bopping Grinellians generously.

DTCV (pronounced “Detective”) took to the stage next. They also hail from Los Angeles and have a genre-bending array of sounds under their belt. Their latest album, “Hilarious Heaven” has 26 tracks ranging from nine seconds to 11 minutes, and covers the spectrum from low ballads to driving post-punk.

They introduced themselves to the crowd of about 30 after their first song: singer Guylaine Vivarat from France, drummer Chris Dunn from England and guitarist James Greer from “wherever Captain America is from.” Someone from the crowd said that Captain America was from Iowa and Vivarat smiled.

“We love Iowa,” Vivarat said. “And I’m not just saying that to flatter you guys.”

Listening to the trio’s second song, “Sundial,” gave you goose bumps. The guitars were chilled and dead on time, while Vivarat’s voice threaded the listeners through a poetic story: “In this life, the world could disappear.”

Some may know Greer from his two years with the iconic indie-rock band Guided by Voices, but Greer’s career as an accomplished writer is not as well-known. In addition to his past as an editor at Spin and an author of numerous short stories, Greer authored a biography titled “Guided by Voices: A Brief History: Twenty-One Years of Hunting Accidents in the Forests of Rock and Roll” which received rave reviews for his portraiture of bandmate Robert Pollard—one of the greatest songwriters of the 20th century. Undoubtedly, Greer’s presence in DTCV contributes much to their well-crafted songs and polished performance.

Current Grinnell Concerts Committee member and next year’s SGA Concerts Chair Violeta Ruiz Espigares ’15 thought the show was a hit.

“It was a successful attendance for a Monday night,” Espigares said. “It shows that Grinnellians are always willing to have fun with music.”

One of the best songs of DTCV’s set also had the most creative name, “Alpha Waves in a Gelatinous Chamber.” As Grinnell students waved their bodies to the undulating current of Dunn’s drumming, Greer’s lo-fi guitar traded off center stage with Vivarat’s strong cries in a mesmerizing five minute union whose sudden end left a resounding silence in the room.

After the concert ended, students were left with a taste of what French-American rock ‘n’ roll entails and, for some, aching hearts.

“DTCV was really catchy,” said Connor Robetorye ’16. “I’m really charmed by the singer [Vivarat].”

DTCV lead singer Guylaine Vivarat crooning in Gardner. Photo by Emma Sinai-Yunker.
DTCV lead singer Guylaine Vivarat crooning in Gardner. Photo by Emma Sinai-Yunker.
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