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As we all know, Mondays have a distinct feel to them. They are sluggish and off-tempo and always come too soon, particularly after spring break. Monday night, however, the Sail Inn played host yet again to various bands still touring after playing shows last week for South By Southwest (SXSW), a music festival in Austin, Texas.

It was a congested lineup featuring acts primarily of the West Coast persuasion, but in the hurried and compact setting of the Sail Inn that night, all in attendance were given one last grasp at forgetting that this is in fact the week after Spring Break, and that our lives are waiting for us to move on.

Whether it's the beginning of the night or the end, walking in to the Sail Inn is the closest any one of us will ever come to knowing what it means to be a salmon swimming upstream. Why it is that small, dive-like venues refuse to align the interiors of their establishments with what any normal individual operating under commonsense would use escapes me.

The stage was of a crude design. A very humble representation to say the least, and why it was decided to awkwardly cram it in-between the women’s restroom and front door – again – escapes me, but one can imagine the “bottleneck” effect that it currently creates could be avoided.

As with any show featuring more than five bands returning from, or in route to, a large musical event such as SXSW, a few of the acts are going to be disappointing, or at least perplexing. Here are those from Monday night’s show that stood out the most.

Foster the People appeared somewhere in the middle of the lineup with a drum-circle-heavy rendition of what seemed like a puréed Jamiroquai-influenced sound served well past its expiration date. The band is close musically, in the sculpting of their sound, but vocally it was an off night.

Braids was a little too weird, maybe for the Sail Inn, maybe for a Monday or maybe for the crowd in general, particularly me — but Franz Nicolay of the Hold Steady was without question the evoker of the grandest jaw-dropping moments of, at that time, the early evening. Nicolay is blessed with not only the talent to play the accordion (of all things), but with the gift of gab as well.

Each performer was given around 20 minutes to perform. After a few light-hearted-yet-sharp comments to silence the crowd, even going s far as to ask those who want to talk to go outside, Nicolay crooned strongly through his set, adding one more curl to his mustache before leaving the stage, the Sail Inn and Phoenix, presumably, for good. Then there were the diamonds in the rough — the reasons we go out in the first place on the Monday night after spring break.

Geographer, from San Francisco, was sadly limited to one of those previously mentioned 20-minute sets when they should have carried the entire evening on their own, or if not, then as a strong opening act with a respectable allocation of time to play. Perhaps everything is better around sunset, but the cohesion between the band and the capability and performance of their lead singer that early on in the night really outshined every other act, with the respectable exception of Viva Voce.

Hailing from Portland, Ore., this wedded duo has been quietly cutting its way across the globe for years. He on the drums, and her wielding her many different blades of Fender, Viva Voce debuted a number of new tracks off their album “The Future Will Destroy You,” due out in June.

Of those tracks played Monday night, especially the title track to the upcoming album, all came from the lower, deeper, darker depths of Anita Robinson’s guitar, while husband Kevin yet again delivered from behind the drums a thick and hearty serving of what one can expect from the new album.

According to the banner hanging behind the stage, the Sail Inn is the “best” we have to offer traveling musicians. If this is the case, then there needs to be equal parts of worry as well as comfort on the parts of the general audience. Worry in that we deserve better, but take comfort in that we have at least somewhere to go on a Monday night.

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