They sound familiar.

The coppery tones of the Go-Gos. The chirpy rap of Blondie. Funky strains of the B-52s.

It’s all there, mixed up in 13 Stories, an Atlanta Band I saw play Saturday night at the Westville Pub in West Ashvegas. It’s the first time they’ve played in Ashvegas. (btw, the Westville Pub celebrates its third birthday next month, but more on that in another post.)

It’s usually not my scene, a pop band on a Friday night, what with some great basketball to be devoured. But on the recommendation of the Beer Guy, I decided to give them a shot. I have to say that for my $4 cover, I certainly got my money’s worth.

The band is obviously young. They just go by their nicknames – Cheri D fronts the band, with guitartist Cat and bassist J3 and drummer Max. They hail from all over the US and they’ve got day jobs.

Cheri D, from Detroit, is a psychotherapist and licensed clinical social worker. Cat is an inline skating coach originially from Massachusetts. J3 deals with furniture as a purchaser and is from Birmingham. Max intalls expensive audio equipment and comes from Oklahoma. For a full rundown on the band, see what the Beer Guy wrote. You can hear some music clips, too.

As I was saying, the band is young. You can see it in their stage presence, solid but could be better. Cheri D engages the crowd, and her energy clearly sets the tone for the rest of the group.

But her interactions with bandmates comes off as forced sometimes. It’s a sign that the band still searches from some chemistry – Cat is the newcomer.

The group could use a little coaching on costuming, too. There’s no identity, no style, no statement to their on-stage fashion.

Those nitpicks aside, 13 Stories can jam. Saturday night, they covered Michael Jackson, R. Kelley and even Morris Day and the Time (“Jungle Love,”- Cheri D. said it was the first time the band played it live and they weren’t quite sure when to quit).

Their original tunes were groovy and very danceable (“You’e my after school special” was a personal favorite), mixed in with more ballady stuff.

All in all, it was a very fun show. You can sense that the band has fun with what it’s doing. They even shared three photo album scrapbooks with the Beer Guy during their intermission.

We’ll see just how far they go. (If you like these photos, see my photo gallery.)

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