Saturday, January 31st, 2004
Songs From A Blue Guitar
Melancholy was my prevelant mood last night, and Mark Kozelek of Red House Painters and Sun Kil Moon was as good a person as any to soundtrack it. Local openers Ghost Story were a complete unknown to me going in, I’d never even heard their name before. Bolstered by ubiquitous local steel player Bob Egan, they managed to impress with their lush if slightly samey take on spacey country music. They could stand to vary things up a little, but they definitely had a sound I could get into.
Kozelek shuffled onstage around midnight and despite still recovering from the flu, he played a pretty solid hour and a half set of old and new material. I’m only peripherally familiar with the RHP stuff, owning only Retrospective and having heard only bits and pieces of the SKM record, but that didn’t keep me from appreciating his huge, warm voice (if it was adversely affected by his illness I couldn’t tell) and intricate guitar playing. Hell, even the material I did know was tough to recognize as he was careful to rearrange all the songs. He capped off the set by satisfying almost all the song requests that had been flying about through an extended medley. As is often the case with solo acoustic sets, the songs began sounding an awful lot alike after a while. Still, it was enjoyable even if I was beginning to nod off towards the end.
Despite being dead front-row centre, I’m not real happy with the photos I got. The lighting was so dim that the colour- and level-corrected images are fairly grainy. I could have used the flash but it would have surely blinded an already grumpy performer – not an ideal scenario. And anyway, a guy sitting on a stool with an acoustic guitar for 90 minutes isn’t the most dynamic subject matter.
Billboard talks to Fountains of Wayne about Grammy nominations and other sundry topics.
np – Royal City / At Rush Hour The Cars