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There were some awesome moments that happened during MusicFestNW this past weekend, including two stand-out performances by Thee Oh Sees on Friday (the first for a free afternoon KEXP live session at Doug Fir, and later that night at Dante's, supporting cavestomp garage legends The Gories), as well as Tyvek's adrenaline-fueled punk assault at Dante's on Saturday. But nothing topped Nashville's JEFF the Brotherhood, who I caught last night at the recently opened Bunk Bar. What's most impressive about the two-piece band is how they're able to get so much sound out of such a basic, stripped down set-up: the singer/guitarist Jake plays on a three-stringed guitar, and the drummer Jamin plays on a no-frills three-piece kit that had "JEFFRO TULL" scrawled on the kick drum head. On paper (or the internet, if you will), it doesn't sound like much. But the key to the band's riff-heavy rock is distortion pedals. This gives the rudimentary guitar a whirling, psychedelic sound and enough crunch to crack a jawbreaker in half. It also doesn't hurt that good songwriting and hook-y song structures seem to come very naturally for these two young men.

The band opened their set with the muscular title track of their outstanding 2009 release, Heavy Days. If I ever owned a '78 t-topped Pontiac Trans Am, "Heavy Days" would be a stereo maystay while I drove around town like a mustachioed bad boy picking up chicks. It's a fully-charged riff monster with a propulsive rhythm that never eases up on the gas (same can be said for the album's other "heavy"-hitters, "Heavy Krishna" and "Heavy Damage."). Both "Heavy Krishna" and "Heavy Damage" were treated with some extended soloing that found Jake walking into the crowd, and climbing onto the bar. The gar-runge of "U Got The Look" and poppy "Bone Jam" were worked into the fold as well. Toward the end of the night, Jamin jumped away from the kit and turned off the three lights that lit the stage, as Jake began strumming the opening chords to "The Tropics," the bittersweet closer to the first-half of Heavy Days. I asked a really pretty woman standing next to me if she wanted to slow dance, but she "can't slow dance," so I just swayed in my own folded arms, until the song melted into the churning epic album closer "Mind Ride." They played a couple new songs that I didn't catch the names of, but they were resoundingly as great as everything that is on Heavy Days. It was everything I hoped for, even though today my neck hurts and my hair is a mess. Whatever, it was worth it.

My one regret of the weekend is missing them play Saturday Night at Doug Fir. If anyone driving to Arcata tonight, I'll gladly hitch a ride, as long as you don't mind hearing this band over and over again...