sholi [2008]

Bimbo’s 365 Club
San Francisco, CA
5 October 2008

My first thought, upon first walking into Bimbo’s, and focusing my attention on the band in mid-set on the stage: who got their jazz drummer in my indie rock band?

Sholi is a really tight, driven, risk-taking indie rock band. Their drummer, Jonathon Bafus, is just plain ridiculous. Bafus is so good at what he does that it was downright difficult to notice anything else on the stage.

And not only is he one of the best drummers I’ve ever seen live, but he appeared to be ripped straight out of a 1947 be-bop set. His frenetic-and-yet-somehow-meticulous beats drove the entire band from start to finish and pushed even the most languid of songs beyond any hint of a lag.

At times, his rhythms seemed completely inappropriate to the particular song – as if he was simply ignoring the rest of the band. But here’s the crazy part – it actually worked. He somehow made all of the elements coalesce to follow his own bizarre internal clock.

Sholi’s late-Beatles, early-Doors sound, filled with 3 (and, at times, 4) part male harmonies is a lot of fun. But it’s Bafus’ incredibly complex, driving rhythms that make the band something to behold.