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Local bands outshine Ghosts I've Met

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There was much buzz leading to the Ghosts I've Met debut show in Little Rock last week. With a collective resume that reads like a who's who of lo-fi indie rock (band members have played with Sparklehorse, Belle and Sebastian, Built to Spill, Cat Power, Modest Mouse, Sleater Kinney, etc.), the Seattle band promised to be an indie yuppie's dream.

But the real dream was the pairing of two of Little Rock's best pop bands in the opening slots. The rare appearances from the Magic Cropdusters and Big Silver made this one of best shows at White Water all summer. David Jukes (Cropdusters) and Isaac Alexander (Big Silver) lead distinctly different bands but share a gift for crafting perfect pop hooks.

Jukes tends to hide his feelings behind a clever sense of humor and quirky look at the world. Alexander, on the other hand, wears his heart on his sleeve, and Big Silver's songs are sentimental, from the family history of “Eulogetic” to the mea culpa of “I Get Down.” The set was heavy on songs from Big Silver's upcoming album “Tributary.” With each record, they've further softened their rough rock edges to reveal the subtle strength of Alexander's songwriting.

As for the headliner, Ghosts I've Met was long on trucker hats and embroidered shirts, short on substance. After sets from the Magic Cropdusters and Big Silver, their performance simply fell flat.

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