Mar 30, 2008

Patty Griffin @ Enmore Theatre

Patty Griffin is pure class. Saturday night at the Enmore Theatre was her last show of her just completed Australian tour and it was a wonderful celebration of the power of the voice. Ah, the voice. Patty Griffin surely has one weapon of a voice. It resonates with tenderness and beauty, power and soul. Just gorgeous, and for over an hour and a half she thoroughly entertained and entranced a smitten audience.

Just last November, I saw Patty play at the Clarendon Guest House and it was a wonderful experience. After such a great reception, she made a quick return to Australia, playing at the Byron Bay Blues Fest and also several larger venues around the nation. If I had to make a direct comparison, I think I enjoyed the Katoomba show slightly more. If only because the smaller venue provided a more intimate experience. But last night's Enmore show was still wonderful, purely because of the talent offered by this great American performer. Another slight difference this time around was a more varied set list. Patty only played 4 songs from her latest splendid album "Children Running Through" (last time there were 8) and dug deep into her catalogue, playing a good spread of tunes from throughout her career. I am sure this pleased a lot of long term fans, but I was secretly wishing for "Trapeze" and "Railroad Wings", amongst others. But this is a minor quibble. As when you are in the hands of a quality performer like Patty Griffin you are most surely guaranteed a memorable night. Interestingly, she opened with 2 covers, a Tom Waits and a Sam Cooke, before delving into her own tunes. Highlights of the night were the eternally moving "Burgundy Shoes", the powerful "Flaming Red", the gorgeous "Top of The World" and the rocking "No Bad News". I also loved "When It Don't Come Easy", a song I was unfamiliar with, but throughly enjoyed. The encore was great too. Well, it featured "Up To The Mountain", her tribute to Martin Luther King, so that song's burning power is enough to fuel a small city. Patty, for most of the night was up front on acoustic, including a Gibson Hummingbird and then also made her way to a grand piano for some songs. This time around she had two musicians backing her. Once again Doug Lancio was superb on guitar, whilst Michael Longoria was a revelation on drums. Subtle and full of texture, he also banged a pipe at one stage, with great effect. All in all, a wonderful night of voice and music. A night in the hands of a generous, genuine and exquisite performer.

Set List
Hang On St Christopher (Tom Waits cover)
Get Yourself Another Fool (Sam Cooke cover)
Making Pies
Burgundy Shoes
Kite Song
Live Forever (Billy Joe Shaver cover)
Flaming Red
Nobody's Crying
Long Ride Home
Love Throws A Line
Top Of The World
Stay On The Ride
When It Don't Come Easy
No Bad News
Mil Besos

Tomorrow Night
Up To The Mountain (MLK Song)

Mar 29, 2008

Burgundy Shoes-Patty Griffin

Off to see the incomparable Patty Griffin at the Enmore Theatre tonight. Should be special.

Mar 27, 2008

Red Yellow & Blue-Born Ruffians

If you seek exuberance without banality, energy without trivialiy, something to dance to, but not mindless to listen to, then "Red Yellow & Blue" is the album for you. Fun with a capital F. This is the debut album from Born Ruffians in a nut shell. This shot of sunshine from the young (all 21 or 22) Toronto trio totally fulfills the promise of their 2006 EP. As a bonus, whilst that EP was energy driven to the extreme, this album shows a more mature side. In amongst the highly addictive pop tunes there are lovely, quieter moments that prove that this band is no one trick pony. Born Ruffians are here to stay and this platter of mirth splattered goodness is ample proof.

The opening track, the title track, is a pleasant surprise. All coy and lingering, it immediately shows that these boys are more then sum of their parts. A gently strumming guitar is matched by some evocative piano, before whistling joins in. Its wistful nature is truly delightful. Then comes the back to back power shot of "Barnacle Goose" and "Hummingbird". These songs are typical, but yet irresistible, of the Ruffian sound. Short, sharp pop songs full of verve and bite. Featuring fierce yet melodic drumming, punchy bass lines and the unmistakable yelpings of Luke Lalonde. Lalonde's voice is seemingly always discussed in reviews, sometimes unfavourably. But I find it a strength. In between the woahs and heys, his voice has a certain melancholic charm. It will never be mistaken for Sam Cooke, but then this a smart pop band that plays edgy and smart. Fun and loose. This is never better illustrated then on my favourite song off the album. "I Need A Life", a joyous slab of pop wonder. All jangly guitars, pulsating drums and that "Oh, But We Go Out at Night" refrain delivered with great effect. If this song doesn't stay inside your cranium for days, then I will be surprised.

Thankfully the remainder of the album is chock full of more delights. There are still more pop gems to come, like "Badonkadonkey" and the EP hangover "Hedonistic Me", but there are songs that are varied in texture and style as well. Like the softly sung "Little Garcon", which features some subtle drumming or the slyly attractive "Foxes Mate For Life", a song with staying power. I am also a big fan of "Kurt Vonnegut", which features a can't miss melody and some quite deliberately sad lyrics. See, I think you should never judge a book by its cover. Underneath the skin of a Ruffian, lies a beating heart, one to tell stories and sad tales. Not that they will ever be confused with Okkervil River, but these boys have more going for them then just pop smarts. And they have plenty of that too. I think a very hard thing to do is have a two or three piece band and still write highly effective songs that can grow and blossom with time. Born Ruffians do this with ample ease. Their songs definitely have staying power. Fun never sounded so good.

MP3: Hummingbird

Mar 26, 2008

Bye Bye Bye-Plants And Animals

I recently obtained the new album from Montreal 3 piece Plants And Animals. "Parc Avenue" is the name and it is a highly original and unique piece of work. I need more time with it, but so far, so good. This is the first track off the album, recorded live at Montreal's La Sala Rossa.

MP3: Bye Bye Bye-Plants And Animals

Yesterday I reviewed the new Destroyer album "Trouble In Dreams" and it is so far my album of the year. But I have listening to many other newish ones that I have yet to review. I have no idea if I will get around to all of them, but here is a quick guide-

Red, Yellow and Blue-Born Ruffians-Immaculate Pop!!!
The Evening Descends-Evangelicals-Strange but kinda beautiful
Here's To Being Here-Jason Collett-This is growing on me, charming
For Emma, Forever Ago-Bon Iver-Everyone should own this re-release
Real Emotional Trash-Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks-Jammy but am liking it
Volume One-She & Him-Lyrically light, but Zoe can sing
Shots-Ladyhawk-Rocks and rocks, Duffy's voice is astounding
Animal Kingdom-Baseball-Wild passion overload

Mar 25, 2008

Trouble In Dreams-Destroyer

Sometimes you do not need to understand great art to fully appreciate it. Sometimes the unique beauty of an artistic creation can not be easily dissected. Easily explained or even understood. Much like a Chagall painting or a David Lynch film, a Destroyer piece of music can be impenetrable and opaque. A riddle, a puzzle. But I do believe that often the most difficult journeys can be the most satisfying. Put it this way. Destroyer have worked hard for their art and asking us, the audience, to do the same is not too much. Suffice to say, this latest creation from the pen of Dan Bejar is yet again something to behold. A lush symphony of sounds, elegant and glorious. A dense and substantial stream of articulation. Words flow and cascade, providing all lyric lovers with a smorgasbord to dine from.

'OK fine, even the sky looks like wine,
And everywhere I turn there,
a new face in time, stuck inside the well
fresh hands to attend to'...and so begins "Blue Flower/Blue Flame" the first song from this wonderful collection of songs. The latest and greatest collection of songs from Destroyer. Now, Destroyer is a five piece band and you can hear how tight and proficient they are on this platter. There is strident drumming and effective keyboards and resonant guitar lines. But, but, this collective revolves around one man. The genius that is Dan Bejar. Mr Bejar is truly unique. Perhaps his voice is an acquired taste. Sometimes melodramatic or a touch nasally, it is however powerful and extremely effective. Well, consider myself to be addicted to it. I particularly love his phrasing. How he hangs on a certain noun or verb, pausing to desired effect. Stopping and starting, keeping the game alive. Ah, sweet rapture. Well, back to the beginning. The opening four songs are a seriously great appetiser. "Blue Flower/Blue Flame" is a story of competing woman, I think, its lush melody softly echoed by a delectable acoustic line. Classic Bejar. "Dark Leaves Form A Thread" romps at a considerable pace, a sensuous and exuberant tune. "Foam Hands" is perhaps one of Bejar's most touching songs that he has penned. He almost whispers the opening, a melancholic song full of aching wonder.

Then the centrepiece. The one-two punch. My highlight is the sumptuous "My Favourite Year", its humming guitar intro firstly drills a hole in your memory and then decides to rest for a while. Before fluent drums signal the vocals to make an entrance. "I was starving in that shit-house, the world" sings Bejar, as he remembers the year 1993. There is a certain mournful tone at work here, a regretful singer seems disheartened by his world. Or that is my take. And that is the beauty of Destroyer's work. There is no easy summation, no clear answer. Nothing straight forward. This is never better exemplified then in the epic "Shooting Rockets". Eight glorious minutes of tremendous sound. This song is lyrically complex to the extreme, a monumental movement of modulation. "I’ve got street despair carved into my heart". Yes you do Dan.

This opening sextet of songs would be enough to stamp "Trouble In Dreams" as a major piece of music. However there is plenty to enjoy in the closing five numbers. "Introducing Angels" is a pure delight, its soft and gentle nature evoking a truly warm feeling. "Rivers" is boisterous Bejar at his best, all froth and melodrama. Probably the only song yet to convince is "Plaza Trinidad", its simplistic nature feeling a little lacklustre. But "Libby's First Sunrise" brings this wonderful album to a glorious close. Its warm fuzzy tones even include some hand claps. In an ever burgeoning catalogue of illustrious sounds, "Trouble In Dreams" holds its own with any other Destroyer work. A work of great complexity and beauty, it is a journey of considerable substance.

MP3: Foam Hands
MP3: Dark Leaves Form A Thread

Mar 24, 2008

Paranoid Park

Paranoid Park is the latest creation from the always innovative mind of Gus Van Sant. This director's films are always a must see, as he continually attempts to conjure up something a little unique. This film is no different. Paranoid Park could be seen as somewhat of a companion piece to his wonderful "Elephant", in that its main concerns are the youth of his native Portland. It involves itself with the minutiae of their troubled lives, and like "Elephant" the film uses a mainly untrained cast to portray the teenagers brought into focus. I would say that Van Sant has succeeded on some levels, but missed on others. The film is beautifully shot, many scenes handled with great care and originality. But the plot is fairly minimal, lacking great dynamic and flow. This creates a film that is definitely worth seeing, but probably not one that is truly essential.

Paranoid Park is centred around the skateboarding culture of Portland, Oregon. The title of the film is taken from the nick name of a skate park, where we meet the central character. Alex (Gabe Nevins) is a shy young man, who likes to skate and write in his journal. He appears as a thoughtful young person, although somewhat lacking in confidence. His best friend is Jared (Jake Miller), who is more brash and persuades Alex to visit "Paranoid Park" for the first time. It is here where the major incident of the film occurs. A security guard is killed near the skate park and Alex is considered a major suspect. The film then flows back and forth from before and after the night. We get to know the other skaters and their culture, as well as Alex's girlfriend Jennifer (Taylor Momsen). This represents the fairly thin plot. But this film is not about plot, I believe. It is about conveying to us the world of the young people in the film. Here, it succeeds greatly. Shot beautifully by Australian Christopher Doyle, there are many scenes that are quietly beautiful. Often in slow motion, the camera lingers lengthily on the film's characters. This makes for a languid pace, but this wasn't something which bothered me. I believe the young and untrained cast do a reasonable job in their roles. Although not always being natural in front of the camera, it gives you a strong sense of the world of teenagers. Sometimes a clumsily delivered line becomes effective as it relays the awkwardness of being that age. Woven into the film are many hand held video moments of the skateboarders doing their thing. Again, this is also effective at conveying a glimpse of their world. Paranoid Park is an original and captivating film, one that is worth investigating if you enjoy cinema that is authentic and genuine. Thanks to Gus Van Sant.

Mar 23, 2008

New Buffalo @ Factory Theatre

Not every musical experience is going to change your life. Bury your heart and explode your mind. Sometimes a night out can just be pleasant and enjoyable. Satisfying, if not totally memorable. Such was Saturday night at Enmore's Factory Theatre. New Buffalo was the act and it was an enjoyable and easy way to spend a night. Sally Seltmann has received quite a bit of exposure since the release of her latest album "Somewhere, Anywhere". Its delectable pop melodies delighting a number of people, including me, so I was quite looking forward to seeing New Buffalo live for the first time.

Sally Seltmann started the night on piano, where she stayed for most of the night. The melodies she played on the piano were quite delightful. Playing mainly from her latest album, I particularly enjoyed "Misery and Mountains, Arrows and Bows", "Emotional Champ" and "It's True". I found the melodies lilting and infectious, even though lyrically they don't always make a strong mark. I also quite enjoyed her voice, it reaches quite a high level, staying there and not wavering too often. Occasionally she would step out from the piano and play a little electric guitar. I think I enjoyed these songs even more, the guitar proving quite striking. Her band was more then competent too. One girl playing drums and another, Jessica, playing a multitude of instruments including a stirring cello. After about an hour set, the band left the stage and then returned for a brief encore, which included the lovely "Cheer Me Up Thank You". A good way to end the night. A night of pleasant and enjoyable music. And sometimes that is more then enough.

Mar 22, 2008

Fools-The Dodos

Sometimes you hear new music that instantly carves a place in your heart. This is always a wonderful experience. The sublime shock of the new. Something unexpected. Well, The Dodos do this for me. And how. They have, just this week, released their new album "Visiter" on Frenchkiss Records. What I have heard from this record is quite simply blowing my mind. "Fools" has been getting major play on the 'net. But there is so much more. This San Francisco duo create wonderful melodies and delightful rhythms from just drums and guitar. It is fresh and exciting and purely wonderful. Recommended highly.

MP3: Fools-The Dodos
MP3: Jodi-The Dodos

Mar 20, 2008

The Mountain Goats Cancel Australian Tour

From John Darnielle. "For personal and medical reasons The Mountain Goats are unable to do the Australian tour as scheduled. The band wants Australia to know how much we regret this: coming to Oz is a big highlight of the year for us and we were really looking forward to playing these shows. We will make it up to you all!". For all us fans this is extremely disappointing news, but we also know that this band looks after their fans like no other, so lets wish the Darnielle family all the best and hope for a tour before the year is out.

Mar 19, 2008

Wilco @ Enmore Theatre

There are certain inevitable facts in life. The sky is blue. The grass is green. Nickelback are terrible. That sort of thing. Well, please add to the list this fact. Wilco are always, always great live. This should not come as a surprise as they are truly one of the great bands of the world. An act of supreme quality. One that always delivers. Big time. Last night at Sydney's Enmore Theatre they played the first show of their latest Australian sojourn and they were absolutely superb. A little under 11 months ago they played the very same venue and damn it, I think they were even better last night. In this quite unique year of live music in Sydney, Wilco showed that their live show is as good as anyone else's. Without question, no doubt.

To say this show started perfectly would be an understatement. I was hoping madly for "Sunken Treasure" and they opened with it. Basically just Jeff on acoustic, it was sublime. Startling. Delirious and beautiful. My heart was beating hard. I loved that they opened with a subdued threesome too. The wonderful "Reservations" and the touching "Remember The Mountain Bed" followed. Bliss was cascading through the venue, reaching out and smothering our hearts. Then to remind us all that they are a rock band, they then opened up and let loose the guitars. This reached its climax on "Handshake Drugs", which blistered and then caught fire. By now the place was rocking, hard, and Wilco had us in the palms of their hands. Highlights flowed easily. "A Shot In The Arm" was a call to loosen the vocal chords, whilst "Via Chicago"'s mournful tones resonated strongly. If the heat could be turned up a notch, it occurred during "Impossible Germany" which turned into an orgasmic fury of guitar. Nels Cline quite possibly made his guitar catch fire as he played with an almost maniacal zeal on the side of the stage. I loved how the band jammed on one side, whilst Cline did his thing. Now seems a good time to mention the band. They are quite extraordinary. Professional to the extreme, they never miss a beat, playing with true passion and fire. They also seemed to be having a ball. After all these years, I find it refreshing that they still play with such joy and wonder. As mentioned, Nels Cline is a wonder on electric and slide guitar, adding something special to each and every song. Glenn Kotche was a whirlwind on drums, his long hair becoming a sweaty mess soon after the start, whilst John Stirratt is forever the bedrock, his steady bass and harmonies providing the required touches thoroughly. The surprise though was Pat Sansone. I think last night his inner rock god was unleashed. When he stepped out from behind his keyboards he attacked his guitar with extreme fervour, providing every manner of rockist pose. A sheer delight.

Then there is Mr Jeff Tweedy. What more can one add. His voice has such earthy texture. It is universal and timeless, a voice of everyman and for everyman. His guitar playing, probably under rated, was stunning again. Whether on acoustic or electric, he plucked and strummed with great skill, evoking every required note. He was also his usual humorous self. He seemed to be in a good mood too, complimenting the audience on their attentiveness and conversely ignoring requests as he struggled to understand a single word anyone was yelling out. I loved how he pronounced Bondi (more like Bondy) and like seemingly every international visitor he is fascinated by our Flying Foxes. Also, he seemed a bit heftier. I don't know if it was the denim jacket he was sporting, but I think he has been in a good paddock.

Back to the night. It was a pleasant surprise to hear so much early stuff. Two songs off "AM", including John Stirratt taking lead vocals on "It's Just That Simple" were sheer delight. If your face wasn't aching from smiling by the time "Jesus, Etc." came then I would seriously doubt you were at the same show. Then a storming "I'm The Man Who Loves You" was the perfect closer. But this is a Wilco show, so there is always more. And there was, the set lasted for over two hours. The encore seriously rocked. "Heavy Metal Drummer" and "The Late Greats" had the whole crowd humming and dancing, before they launched into a four song closer from "Being There". These songs were basically jammed into one another, providing a fusion of power and ecstasy. Although surely played a million times, they sounded as fresh as ever. Then it was over, we all hoped for a second encore, but who can complain. Witnessing one of the truly great world bands play with such skill and passion was a wonder to behold. Complete satisfaction guaranteed.

Set List
Sunken Treasure
Remember The Mountain Bed
Company In My Back
You Are My Face
Hell Is Chrome
Handshake Drugs
Pot Kettle Black
A Shot In The Arm
Side With The Seeds
Via Chicago
Impossible Germany
It's Just That Simple
Pick Up The Change
Nothing'severgonnastandinmyway (Again)
Jesus, Etc.
I'm The Man Who Loves You

Hate It Here
Heavy Metal Drummer
The Late Greats
Red-Eyed And Blue
I Got You (At The End Of The Century)
Outtasite (Outta Mind)

Support act Bridezilla confirmed one thing for me. They are one of this country's most exciting and original acts. A some what surprising choice for the support, I hope they won over the audience with their considerable skill and passion. Playing a couple of new songs, I always enjoy the maelstrom they seem to concoct on stage. If I could offer one piece of advice, maybe it would be nice to say a few more words, especially thanking Wilco for the support slot.

I have some more shots of the night at Flickr.

Mar 17, 2008

Islands Live At SXSW

File this post under "What was I Thinking?" I meant yesterday to include some coverage of Islands playing at SXSW. Above is "The Arm", from the forthcoming album "Arm's Way", due out in May. Below is "Red Football", originally done by Sinead O'Connor.

Speaking of new albums. I can reveal this. The new Wolf Parade is definitely coming out in June. It will contain nine songs. Title and track listing are not too far away. Start salivating ladies and gentlemen. The greatest band in the world is set to take over 2008. Not that I am putting any pressure on them, but how great is this album going to be? Hey let's start guessing real song titles now. This is "Crazy Horse??" recorded in Montreal last year. See the greatness, hear the greatness. It doesn't get any better then this.

Mar 16, 2008

SXSW Extravaganza

One day, one day, I will make it to SXSW. I have been to Austin, Texas once before and loved it, despite the heat. But one day I will be there in March seeing things like Destroyer play at The Parish at 1 AM in the morning. This photo will have to suffice as I couldn't find any video of him. But I was able to find a few videos that excited me. I know you enjoy them too!

The marvelous Bon Iver playing "The Wolves (Act I & II) at Emo's. I just love the crowd involvement. You must buy his debut album. It is great.

Phosphorescent performing "At Death, A Proclamation" at Emo's Annex.

Cloud Cult have a new album out in April. Are they prolific or what? This is "No One Said It Would Be Easy" from "Feel Good Ghosts", played outdoors.

Langhorne Slim. 'nuff said. Man's a machine.

Okkervil River. Weren't they just here? Anyway, they are basically amazing. Seen here performing "For Real" at Yard Dog Gallery.

Don't you love audience participation like this? The exciting MGMT performing "Kids" from their new album "Oracular Spectacular".

She & Him. M. Ward and Zooey Deschanel. "Volume One" is a true delight. Here they perform "This Is Not A Test" in Austin. Love her voice.

I saw Born Ruffians in Canada lat year. Their shows are such fun and so is their music. This is "Barnacle Goose" from their brand new album "Red, Yellow and Blue", performed at Dirty Dog Bar. The new album is great, please buy it.

Speaking of new albums, The Black Keys have "Attack & Release" due out in April. This band is just awesome live. Here they perform "Girl Is On My Mind" at Emo's. How about a tour guys.

Mar 15, 2008

Images And Memories Of The Live Music Year; So Far, So Good

Slowly, I catch my breath. A year full of vivid and wonderful memories. Memories to last for an eternity. I have Wilco and The Mountain Goats to come and I just know that those two shows will be extra special, with their own special memories. But, but...I thought I would throw up my favourite images from my favourite shows this year. This special, special, year. And, because I just love lists I have made a list of of my favourite songs from the shows that I have attended this year. Now it also turns out that in most cases these aren't my favourite songs by these artists, but in a delightful twist these songs just struck a chord with me live. Also I have restricted each artist to one song. Otherwise there would be eight Explosions In The Sky songs on this list.

Top Ten Live Songs Heard This Year (In No Particular Order)

Memorial-Explosions In The Sky
I will never, ever forget this show. And this song, holy cow. My mind melted and my heart exploded, I cried with unbridled joy. To see Munaf, Michael and Mark attack their guitars at the climax... Well, let's just say I have never seen guitars played like this before, ever.

A Stone-Okkervil River
Quite simply. Stopped my heart. Will Sheff is just a purely great performer and songwriter. This song was totally stripped back, laid out for its emotional bones to be devoured. Fan for life.

About Today-The National
Stunning would be a massive understatement. The emotional impact of this song is nearly unbeatable. It started slowly before developing into an orgasmic fury of sound. Oh yeah, Matt Berninger can sing.

Tunnels-Arcade Fire
The floor shook. Our hearts jumped out of our throats. Our faces cracked from smiling so hard. My legs moved without my asking. Love was in the air.

John Wayne Gacy, Jr.-Sufjan Stevens
Swimming in a sea of serenity, this song floated above all. To call this song moving would be massively understating the case. Tears flowed this night.

Ibi Dreams of Pavement-Broken Social Scene
Those horns, all those people. Those damn pesky Canadians. First they steal our hearts, then they make us punch fists in the air. Oh yeah, fists were pumping, damn straight.

Jonathon Fisk-Spoon
"Atom bombs and blunt razors. Jonathan Fisk says it's a sin but he don't think twice cause to him religion don't mean a thing, oooh just another way to be right wing". Damn. Britt.

Fucked Up Kid-Feist
The wonderful Feist covering Broken Social Scene. Sweet. Delectable. Insane.

Amy and Torquil created magic this night. This song just encapsulated that very magic. A night for dreamers and lovers. Oh, tender was the night.

You Were Right-Built To Spill

Mar 13, 2008

My Morning Jacket Live-Evil Urges

My Morning Jacket. Greatest live band on the planet? Well, they are certainly in the discussion. I was lucky enough to see them twice about four years ago and they were truly memorable experiences. They have been a bit quiet lately, but in June they return with their new album "Evil Urges". They are playing a few shows beforehand including one this week at SXSW. On March 10 they played in Houston, premiering 8 new songs. Here is the title track from the new album. Holy cow, Jim James I love you. Your voice is one of a kind.

Evil Urges is released on June 10. Track listing here-
1 Evil Urges
2 Touch Me I'm Going to Scream Part 1
3 Highly Suspicious
4 I'm Amazed
5 Thank You Too
6 Sec Walkin'
7 Two Halves
8 Librarian
9 Look at You
10 Aluminum Park
11 Remnants
12 Smokin From Shootin
13 Touch Me I'm Going to Scream Part 2
14 Good Intentions

Mar 12, 2008

Iron & Wine @ Manning Bar

Expectations can be a strange and wonderful thing. Too high and you can end up feeling let down. Too low and you can be in for a great surprise. Well, Tuesday night at the Manning Bar was a night of low expectations. Not because I regarded Iron & Wine as a lesser talent. It's just that I am not a card carrying member of their fan club and I thought that even with a six member band behind Sam Beam it might just be a night of pleasant songs. Nice and relaxing, but nothing to keep locked in the memory. How wrong was I. This show turned out to be a richly rewarding experience, full of enormously subtle beauty, incredibly inventive musicianship and a lead man who warms your heart without barely breaking into a sweat.

"The Shepherd's Dog" proved last year that Sam Beam was more then just a solo troubadour, softly strumming his ballads. It had funk, sass and soul. A real departure. The journey from acoustic to electric would see Beam employ six able and talented musicians to take on the road. However, would this mean a full rocking affair, fast and furious. Would it strip his songs of their quiet, inner beauty? How would they approach his older material? Well I can report that the live show is a resounding success. Opening with three older songs, Sam performed on acoustic, with only his Sarah joining him on vocals. This was a beautiful start to the night, especially the epic and moving "The Trapeze Swinger". Perhaps this was a nod to his older acoustic days. The rest of the band duly joined him on stage and what a treat they were. Truly inventive and intuitive, they added beautiful and unique touches to each and every song. Which delighted me no end as I was thinking that maybe it would be a raucous and loud night, the band potentially drowning out the soft and tender vocals of Sam Beam. This never happened. What did happen was a rich and elegant tapestry of sound, with each song being stretched and pulled to its limits before slowly dissolving into the next. There was barely a break, just a flow of great music. I especially enjoyed the drumming, beautifully textured, and the delectable pedal steel of Paul Niehaus (Calexico). And the percussionist, not sure of his name, was out of this world. Playing all manner of instruments, bells, shakers, drums amongst many others, he was a constant delight. Another development of the night was that the potentially fast paced songs, such as "White Tooth Man" and "Boy With A Coin", were played at a languid pace. So you could still sway in enjoyment, but at the same time hear the innate delicacy contained within. The highpoint of the night came at around the middle. "Upward Over The Mountain" was a deeply moving affair as Beam brought the song to a delicate hush, before the band swept the song along to a rousing finish. At this point I figured the night had crossed into special territory. "Peace Beneath The City" followed with great results. Its effortless groove proving captivating. Other delights were "Sodom, Georgia" and the closer "Wolves (Song of the Shepherd's Dog)" which evolved into an ecstatic jam. The band then left the stage to rapturous applause, before returning to play a sublime rendition of "A History of Lovers". It was truly a surprising and bewitching night. The songs were delivered with loving care, ranging from soft ballads to expertly played rhythmic jams. All of the band played with a superb and easy touch, rendering each song to its fullest. Therefore enabling Sam Beam's work to shine. Shine it certainly did, in full.

Set List
The Trapeze Swinger
Each Coming Night
House By The Sea
The Devil Never Sleeps
White Tooth Man
Cinder And Smoke
Upward Over The Mountain
Peace Beneath The City
On Your Wings
Boy With A Coin
Sodom, South Georgia
Woman King
Wolves (Song of the Shepherd's Dog)

A History of Lovers

Mar 10, 2008

Cat Power @ Enmore Theatre

When did Cat Power become a rock band? The Cat Power I knew and loved was not at the Enmore Theatre last night. I know, I know. "The Greatest" was a bit of a rocking affair and her just released "Jukebox" is full of soul and rock covers, designed to get you singing and dancing. It's just that last night I did neither. Perhaps it is because although "Jukebox" has its moments it is a generally a little uninspiring. Only saved by the glorious voice that is Chan Marshall, a voice that I struggled to hear last night. Her band, The Dirty Delta Blues Band, was competing all night with her voice. The most important instrument on stage was obliterated most of the time by music that was only workmanlike for me. I will grant that Jim White on drums showed his exquisite skills yet again, but I felt the other members, supposedly exalted, were just going through some fairly standard arrangements. A night that I was hoping would be magical ended up being a flat, lifeless affair.

I do believe that it is probably expected that an artist will take their set list quite heavily from their latest release. Especially if they have formed a band to perform that exact duty. But to receive close to an hour of "Jukebox", after a 30 minute delay to get on stage, just drained the potential from this show. I quite liked "Silver Stallion" and "Aretha, Sing One For Me", but the show flowed like molasses, with little peak or rise of excitement. Even a great song like "Metal Heart" (originally heard on the breathtaking "Moon Pix") was lost on me. "Song to Bobby" was a pleasure to hear, but I wanted more like that. By the close I was feeling restless. At this point, the band left one by one and Jim White was left to keep pounding out a rhythm. The band duly returned and the encore leaned heavily on "The Greatest", which gave me greater joy. I particularly liked "Lived In Bars" and "The Moon", although a beautiful song like "Where Is My Love" was again deadened by the music. Chan then closed with covers by Loretta Lynn and Otis Redding and then lingered on stage to thank the audience. She actually seemed quite touched, staying a decent time before screwing up set lists and hurling them into the crowd, with great strength. Something I have never seen before. This had me thinking. Chan Marshall seems in a very happy place right now. Previously she would be a train wreck on stage. I had witnessed it twice before. Once, really bad, the other, not too bad. Her drinking and stage fright would get the better of her, causing a lot of anxiety. Seemingly she has sorted her life out and is a now a happy, effervescent stage presence. Albeit still an odd and awkward one. So on a human level I feel good for her. But musically she seems to have taken a step backwards. The tender, heartbreaking songs she was famous for might be a thing of the past. I was hoping for a quiet moment on stage. Chan at a piano, murmuring "Good Woman" or "Colors and the Kids". Instead that glorious, sumptuous weapon of a voice she possesses was drowned out. And she just never stopped moving. I was trying all night to focus on her, but my eyes grew tired. And the lifeless, static lighting didn't help matters. Gee, I sound bitter don't I? I guess it is just that I hold the ability of Chan Marshall so highly, I long for a return of what made her so special in the first place.

Set List
Don't Explain
Woman Left Lonely
Silver Stallion
New York
Ramblin' (Wo)man
Lost Someone
Aretha, Sing One For Me
Lord, Help The Poor & Needy
Metal Heart
She's Got You
Song To Bobby
The Tracks of My Tears
Could We
Naked, If I Wanted To
The Dark End Of The Street

Where Is My Love
The Greatest
Lived In Bars
The Moon
Making Believe
I've Been Loving You Too Long

The support act of Mick Turner and Jim White was actually a treat. Two thirds of Dirty Three has to be good right? They were, a half hour piece of music. Supple and vigorous, a treat for the ears. And the eyes as well, with Turner's art on display as a back drop.

The other support? Appaloosa. Worst support EVER. As quoted to me. "Drunk girl at party".

Sean seemed to have similar thoughts on the night.
Playground Weekender Festival

Last year I attended the very first Playground Weekender Festival. I could only go for one day, the Sunday, but I really enjoyed myself, so a return trip was planned this year. Again, various other committments meant I could only attend for one day, but I found myself having a pleasant and enjoyable day again. This time I went on the Saturday and luckily the weather turned good, after a torrential downpour on the Friday night. This left the venue soggy and muddy in various spots, but apart from that the conditions were fine. For those of you that haven't attended this festival, it is in a lovely part of the world. Set on the banks of the Hawkesbury River, 15 minutes from Wisemans Ferry, the organisers use the Del Rio Resort as their base. So plenty of people use the cabins to stay in, or just camp on the grounds. The location, although spectacular, would seem to be the only detriment to this festival making a bigger impact. For most people, I would assume it would take a major committment to attend, as the location is not exactly an easy place to get to. This seemed to contribute to the seemingly small attendance. Also this year, the music lineup seemed more skewed to the party crowd, with a heavier emphasis on dance music. This is not exactly my cup of tea, but I found enough during the day to keep myself occupied. I watched sets by I Heart Hiroshima and Josh Pyke. But the definite highlight was a set by our returning heroes Dappled Cities Fly.

I hadn't seen Dappled Cities Fly for a while. Certainly not since their return from an extended tour of the USA. Armed with a new drummer, they have not changed much otherwise. Which is a good thing. They are as effervescent, charming and exciting as ever before. Despite playing before a sparse crowd, they attacked their set with gusto. Creating their trademark melodies, they certainly entertained me. The set was a balance between songs from "Granddance" and some newer songs woven into the day. All of the new stuff sounded exciting, which augurs well for a new record. Although it seems like it won't be out until 2009. Of their already recorded tunes I really enjoyed "Holy Chord" and "Vision Bell". Older classics like "Cream" and Peach" were not played, having me believe that perhaps their older repertoire has been retired for now. Once again this band proved that they are up with the best this country has to offer.

Mar 6, 2008

Beirut @ Manning Bar

Music is a shared experience. Even in a room full of strangers, the music unites us all. For most of us music lovers, it is our form of church. We don't go to worship, well some of us do, but we go to rejoice in the singular joy that music gives us. If the artist is doing their job, they are sharing that joy with us. Within the last year I have been able to share that experience with a wonderful person who makes every musical experience twice as good. No wait, a million times better. So tonight, due to illness, I was alone. Well I had the great company of Geoff and Cara and other friends that I have made. But you know what I mean. There is no substitute. Could Beirut fill the void? Would they give me a shared experience at the Manning Bar. I can say yes. Not a huge, enormous yes. But a definite affirmative. Beirut weren't unforgettable. You know, life changing. But they were definitely memorable. Enjoyable, fun, a joy. So in the end that is a good result. I walked in feeling slightly ill at ease. I walked out feeling a warm glow. Thank you, Zach Condon.

I would say with firm conviction that after the run of golden shows we have been through in the last two months that my expectations are extremely high now for any live show. I mean, how do you follow Okkervil River or Explosions in the Sky. Or all that Canadian insanity, for that matter. So, in that regard Beirut's first show in Australia wasn't quite in that league. But then, few are. Luckily, as a change of pace, this was an entirely different night of sounds. No clanging guitars here, or gut wrenching vocals. It was a journey to the deep hearts of Europe. French glistenings and Balkan rumbles. Another world, another time, another sound. In fact the sound was another world all together. On two songs there was a smattering of electric bass, but the rest was a cavalcade of strings and horns. A piano accordion, a violin, some keyboards and a drummer, who apparently was an Australian stand in. I really loved the duelling mandolins and ukeleles. Neither were played with a pick up, just directly into microphones. Horns were a plenty. Trumpets, trombones, french horns and a killer bass saxophone. All these instruments were played with skill and elan. Zach Condon was adept too, playing the ukelele and a strident trumpet. He is quite a talent. Although a tired talent. He sort of stumbled on stage, complaining of jet lag and swigging a flask of whiskey. All through the night he apologised for being tired, in a vaguely disarming way. I don't know whether he was putting it on, as his trumpet playing was vociferous and sharp. And his voice was something else. Rich and elegant, deep and resonant. He sounds a lot older then his young age would indicate. Last night was also a firm reminder that anything yelled out from a crowd is invariably nonsensical or stupid. Moments of silence should stay that way. One person yelled out "Tell Us a Story". A bemused Condon replied "I'm 22".

So, to the music. It was a well paced set. Slower numbers next to up tempo ones. A good spread of tunes from both albums. I was ecstatic to hear "Brandenburg" early on, the mandolins chiming in beautifully. "Mount Wroclai" from his debut album was also a sheer delight. I think my highlight though was "The Penalty", a delicious concoction beautifully rendered in quiet serenity. They also played some songs unfamiliar to me. "Le Moribound", a Jacques Brel cover, which didn't do a lot for me, but I loved "Closing Song", which apparently is a live staple but is at yet unrecorded. "Postcards From Italy", the first Beirut song I ever heard was another one I was looking forward to. And it duly delivered. After a short break, the band returned for a brief encore. "The Gulag Orkestar" was an orgasmic delight of horns, then they closed with "Siki Siki Baba", a song originally performed by Kocani Orkestar. Apparently it appears in the movie "Borat". This is supposedly a funny film. I have not seen it. Then they disappeared into the night, leaving us wanting more. I really wanted to hear "Cliquot" or "Bratislava", but that was it. A night of beauty and delight. Elegance and refinement. A pleasant musical journey.

Set List
A Sunday Smile
Mount Wroclai (Idle Days)
Closing Song
Forks And Knives (La Fete)
Elephant Gun
The Penalty
After The Curtain
Le Moribound
Postcards From Italy
Scenic World

The Gulag Orkestar
Siki Siki Baba

More photos at Flickr.

Mar 5, 2008

The Wolves (Act I & II)-Bon Iver

Brand spanking new video from Bon Iver. This song is from "For Emma, Forever Ago", just re released on Jagjaguwar. The album is full of quiet, poetic beauty. Please check it out. This video was shot in January in Wisconsin. I think it suits the music perfectly.

Mar 4, 2008

Heretic Pride-The Mountain Goats

"Heretic Pride" is the, um sorry I have lost count, umpteenth release by The Mountain Goats. This is both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because, by now this band knows what they are doing, thoroughly and expertly. A curse, because after creating so much storied music it becomes a burden to come up with something fresh and exciting. And more pertinently, something better.
Thankfully this band, and that is the correct word now, have created something fresh and exciting. Is it better? Better then "The Sunset Tree", or my favourite "Tallahassee". Probably not, but this newest creation takes it place in the Darnielle catalogue. An ever burdening catalogue full of the rich tapestry of life, full of the drama, the joy, the sorrow, the idiocy. The stuff, the bone and marrow. The blood. Deep, dark blood, pulsing from Darnielle's heart to ours. For this is the outcome of his music. It is not for the casual listener. It is for the listener to wants to touch the music. To feel the guitar strings, the drum beats, feel the spit from Darnielle's mouth as he twists his tongue around his finely chiseled lyrics. Ah, the lyrics. The one thing that always matters for tMGs fans. Sure the music is doing its job. Mostly. But if you are driven by the power of a well placed lyric, this is your band. They are universal, much like the singer. Funny, heart breaking, poetic, silly, topical, historical, joyous, sorrowful. Living.

It is been well written how this band is now a three headed one. The addition of Jon Wurster on drums has certainly added a new dimension. There have been drums used in the past, but not to this extent. There are many other collaborators as well, including longtime friend Franklin Bruno. As well as St Vincent's Annie Clark, Rachel Ware and members of the Bright Mountain Choir. This album was written in many different places too. From Alaska to his home state of North Carolina. Thematically it is varied as well, it is basically an album of stories and characters. From the wonderfully fertile mind of John Darnielle. Unlike some of his previous work, which was often autobiographical, this seems to be a more outward looking work. It also is a work of many different musical styles. In many ways, a look back and a look forward. In many ways, immensely enjoyable. The opening four songs are a huge chunk of classic Mountain Goats goodness. The much played "Sax Rohmer #1" is a perfect opener. Its hurtling pace sure to make it a live favourite. Strings play a big part on "San Bernadino", its wistful tone gently swaying through out its duration. I think my favourite might actually be the title track, the drumming is taut and sharp and when John sings "I feel so proud to be alive" my heart thumps quite loudly. "Autoclave" follows, a glorious song full of a deep sorrow, beautifully expressed. The next two songs are I think the only lack lustre moments. "New Zion" skates to close to MOR music for my liking, whilst "So Desperate" strains a little too hard to be convincing. But its back on track after that. "In The Craters On The Moon" is dense and threatening and "Lovecraft in Brooklyn" is perhaps the hardest rocking song this band has recorded. It is sure to be popular live too. "How to Embrace A Swamp Creature" features delightful piano and backing vocals, as does "Marduk T-Shirt Men's Room Incident", although it features strings rather then piano. The closer "Michael Myers Resplendent" finishes things off nicely. A swooning, sweeping song that features mournful strings and fierce instrumentation. You know, I liked this album when I first heard it, but I like it even more now. Imagine my feelings in a year or two. If you choose to buy this album, I am sure you will live the same experience. Don't miss them in April either.

MP3: Sax Rohmer #1

The complex stories that emanate from John Darnielle's mind can never be properly explained by me. So here is an illustrated version to help you with the myriad of characters.
A far better review then mine appears at Cokemachineglow.
Feist @ Metro 29/2/2008

As I was trawling Youtube I found this. The incredible Feist at the Metro last Friday. I was ecstatic when she played Fucked Up Kid. Highlight of a very special night. What is with all these Canadians? Not only only are wonderfully talented, but seem to be filled with a joy that is endless.

Mar 2, 2008

2008 St Jerome's Laneway Festival

On an overcast Sunday morning I awoke my tired body with the thought that maybe another day of music after a tiring and emotionally draining week was going to be a big ask. Especially if it rained. But then the sun came out, I ventured into the city and had THE time of my life. Now in its third year, in Sydney, St Jerome's Laneway Festival is I think the best festival in Australia. Great music plus small amount of people equals thrilling day. And this was a thrilling day, and how. I like the fact that this festival is right in the heart of our city, it is well organised and friendly and they invite the musicians that I like. Strike that, love. If there were complaints, it would be that in such a confined space maybe they should cut back on ticket sales. Sometimes it does get pushy getting from one stage to another. However, people were mostly well behaved, except for those rude people who think it is their right to walk straight through you when they wish to get to a stage. Plus, seeing bands at Reiby Place Stage is hard unless you manage to get right down the front. But anyway, it is all about the music. Which, was incredible to say the least. Like many festivals, I didn't see everything, but here are my impressions of the day, in the order that I witnessed them.

Manchester Orchestra. Biggest surprise of the day. I didn't know they were this good. I actually thought their music was more on the poppy side. But this Atlanta five piece really rocked. Hard. But with a very melodic sensibility, with space between the chords. Their singer, Andy Hull, has a beast of a voice. Going from a quiet and vulnerable whisper to a full throated roar, he was way beyond impressive. Speaking of impressive, their drummer was even more so. Jeremiah Edmond thrashes the kit like nobody's business. First thing Monday, I am going to buy their album "I'm Like A Virgin Losing A Child".

Okkervil River, you own a piece of my heart. Please keep it safely. What a special, special band. More emotion and passion is rarely seen. I have waxed lyrical about Will Sheff for quite a while. But put simply, he is a living marvel. A great songwriter. A great musician. A great performer. And that voice, so full of the drama of life, I could listen to him forever. This set was basically a shortened version of their Manning Bar show. No complaints here. " A Girl in Port" was stunning again, whilst "Unless It's Kicks" just flat out rocks. To end with "Westfall" was bliss. Again. Plus, the band were having so much fun. Please, come again soon!

Set List
The President's Dead
A Hand To Take Hold Of The Scene
The Latest Toughs
A Girl In Port
Plus Ones
Our Live Is Not A Movie Or Maybe
For Real
Unless It's Kicks

By I time I got to the Park Stage, I had to settle towards the back. But thankfully I could hear and see everything pretty well. So, a second dose of Stars was delightful again. This band just writes delicious and infectious melodies. I have definitely come out of this week a bigger fan then when I went in. They play with such life and joy. Torquil Campbell is charming and full of enthusiasm and life. Whilst Amy Millan is just a treasure. She is just inhabited by a beautiful spirit, such a smile and seems so full of joy and optimism. Oh, they write good music too. I was especially happy to hear "What I'm Trying to Say" and "Reunion" which they didn't play last Tuesday. "Your Ex-Lover is Dead" and "Elevator Love Letter" were charm personified as well. Then they closed with my favourite Australian song of all time. "Cattle and Cane". The Go-Betweens' classic was a wonderful choice. I salute you Torquil.

Set List (I might have this order wrong as I took this from memory)
Set Yourself On Fire
Elevator Love Letter
Window Bird
One More Night (Your Ex-Lover Remains Dead)
What I Am Trying To Say
Bitches In Tokyo
Midnight Coward
Calendar Girl
Take Me To The Riot
Your Ex-Lover Is Dead
Cattle And Cane

Broken Social Scene should have closed this festival. Without doubt. They are born to close festivals. Their sound is all encompassing, all consuming. All...perfect. After seeing them Thursday night, with poor sound plaguing them I believe, I was ecstatic beyond words through out their performance. They were just on fire. Storming into "Superconnected", they never let up. "KC Accidental" came and I was losing it. Plus, the brass was in full effect. Not only Charles Spearin, but Evan Cranley from Stars on trombone and members of Feist's band as well. Speaking of Feist, I was hoping she would join BSS and she did! Plus Amy Millan, wow. They tore into "7/4 (Shoreline)", a definite highlight of the day. Through out the set, the band grew and shrank in numbers. Even a member of CYHSY appeared. Then to close with "Ibi Dreams of Pavement.." was enough to make my head spin. This song has amazing power and majesty and during its epic close the stage was awash with people and guitars and horns. Stunning. Broken Social Scene are seriously great, scarily talented. Kevin Drew was once again the master front man. He is so imbued with life and emotion. He truly connects with people. Why, oh why didn't this band close. They just had to, surely.

Set List
KC Accidental
Stars And Sons
Farewell to The Pressure Kids
7/4 (Shoreline)
Fire Eye'd Boy
Backed Out On The...
Major Label Debut (Fast)
Fucked Up Kid
Ibi Dreams Of Pavement (A Better Day)

My hardest decision of the day was to choose between Feist and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. I love both, but I was at Feist on Friday night, so I chose the American five piece. Despite myself being a little way from the stage and having a handful of complete idiots near me, I am glad I saw them. They really create an effortless groove, their infectious melodies pleasing my ear no end. They leaned heavily on their debut album, which is a great one. But I like their second effort so I was happy with whatever they played. "Details of the War" is always a pleasure to hear, whilst "Yankee Go Home" was great as well. Closing with "Satan Said Dance" was a sure fire winner, the crowd really enjoying this one. A great end to a great day.

Set List
Is This Love?
Details Of The War
In This Home On Ice
The Skin Of My Yellow Country Teeth
Heavy Metal
Yankee Go Home
Clap Your Hands!
Satan Said Dance

If this festival is even half as good next year, I am there with bells on. Great music in a unique setting makes for a great day. Oh, I was happy again to meet Sean, Geoff, Ro, Cara and Roshan. I didn't see Amanda today but I was pleased to finally meet you at Broken Social Scene.

More photos of this day at Flickr.

Mar 1, 2008

Feist @ Metro Theatre

Feist, you are adorable. Bewitching, special and dazzling. I never realised you were this good. So full of the spirit of life, so full of enchantment and beauty. Friday night at the Metro you captured the beauty in life, put it in your palm, then gently blew it into our faces. A performance not only of immense charm and warmth, but full of insight and depth. Intuitive and intriguing. If all performances were this appealing and beguiling my face would ache from smiling at every show I go. Unfortunately not every night is as special as this. But not every performer is as talented as Feist.

Firstly I would admit that "The Reminder" made me a Feist convert. I mean I owned "Let It Die" and I loved "Mushaboom" (who doesn't) and the title track, but mostly that album was a little light for me. But her latest effort, the one that pushed her into the limelight, was a huge leap forward. Better songs with more depth and feeling meant that Feist was a major talent to be reckoned with. It also meant that she could sell out the Metro, easily. This had me worried as I thought maybe the crowd would be chatty and rude, just waiting to hear "1 2 3 4". Thankfully the crowd was very attentive and respectful, totally investing themselves in this total night of charm. Right from the start the night was ravishing and intriguing. A screen was placed at the front of the stage. A larger screen at the back was showing images being projected from off stage. A small lantern slowly opened on the large screen, as Feist came on stage swinging an illuminated lantern. She proceeded to go behind the small screen and sang a short number. Her silhouette reflected, absolutely gorgeous. Stunning. She then opened with the bluesy, vibrant "When I Was A Young Girl". I thought this was bold way to start. She could have easily began with a "Reminder" number to please the adoring crowd. But I think she wanted to see if the audience was ready to go with her all the way. There were no worries there. We bought a ticket and had a journey to remember.

Soon the "Reminder" numbers flowed. "My Moon My Man" was its bouncy, effervescent itself, "The Park" was a true heart breaker with captivating projections to compliment. Whilst "I Feel It All" was a perfect song to sing along to. When she asked who was at the Broken Social Scene show the night before, my inner child was released. I could feel a cover coming on and with unbridled zeal I cheered when it was "Fucked Up Kid". This was the apex of the night. Just Feist on guitar playing the gorgeous chords of this Kevin Drew number. Bliss, indeed. Speaking of covers, she does have a fair few in her repertoire. One she played I loved. "Open Window", a Sarah Harmer number. One for all the Canadians in the audience. The other one was "Inside And Out", originally done by The Bee Gees, and described as her 80's power ballad. Although it had quite a few singing, the cheesiness was a bit much for me. Feist then showed more of her prowess, stepping over to the piano to play "The Water", before launching into "1 2 3 4", where she hand managed the audience into a mass sing along. Although I don't think we needed much encouragement to get into this infectious tune. Then "Mushaboom" was to become the icing on the cake. A welcome encore was just as perfect. "Intuition" (solo) was almost ethereal, then "Sea Lion Woman" had everyone in a state of ecstasy. Hand clapping ensued. To end with "Let It Die" was just euphoric, its resonant tone hitting all the right notes. Another great aspect of the night was the wonderful band she had on stage. They were instinctive and astute, providing deft and memorable touches through out the night. And the overhead projections only added a touch of magnetism, so many glorious images matched the artistry of Feist herself. And she is not only a talented performer, but a warm and delightful one. She builds a great rapport with the audience, not only enabling them to feel part of the songs, but telling delightful stories and imparting subtle observations. Her thoughts on the Australian accent were downright funny and her aside about Jim Henson's funeral just moving and eloquent. In a year of many, many glorious nights of wonder, this night can easily take its place with them. Without doubt.

Set List
Safe And Secure
When I Was A Young Girl
So Sorry
My Moon My Man
The Park
Limit To Your Love
I Feel It All
How My Heart Behaves
Honey Honey
Fucked Up Kid
Open Window
Brandy Alexander
Inside And Out
The Water
1 2 3 4

Sea Lion Woman
Let It Die

PS: Once again I went to a show with poor lighting. For most of the night Feist seemed to be playing in darkness. So I didn't get too many good photos, but I have a few more at Flickr.