Thursday, June 15th, 2006
Everything All The Time
When/how did Band Of Horses become so damned popular? That’s not a complaint, they’re a fine band and deserve success, but I thought when they originally booked into Lee’s Palace for Tuesday night that they were perhaps overestimating their draw – usually a new band (excepting Carissa’s Weird) coming through town for the first time will do so at the cozier confines of the Horseshoe, but Band Of Horses not only got put in the much larger Lee’s, but sold the damn thing out. And I don’t think these were OC-ADD converts who wanted to hear the hit single and leave, but the whole crowd seemed to be genuine fans and excited for the show.
Contrary to local listings (but consistent with the touring bill) there were two openers along for the ride, The Can’t See and Mt Egypt. The former were a three-piece from Seattle with some nice guitar/keyboard interplay but otherwise kind of generic indie-rock and the singer really couldn’t, well, sing very well. Mt Egypt were more interesting, with a lightly indiosyncratic electri-folk sound reminiscent of Destroyer though less out-there and maybe with a little more cannibas in the diet than bourbon. Each opener had a somewhat truncated set since they had to shoehorn two bands into the time initially allotted for just one, but Band Of Horses got on stage just 15 minutes later than scheduled so all was good.
Band Of Horses took the stage looking quite energized by the audience and seemed genuinely delighted by the enthusiastic response they got before and after every song. Touring as a four-piece (there were five Horses in Austin in March), singer/guitarist Ben Bridwell was unequivocally the centre of attention and not just because his cohorts hid in the shadows for the whole show. His voice soars yet somehow stays rooted firmly on the earth, fingers outstretched to the sky and bolstered by the pedal steel, chiming guitars and gentle keyboards. The set consisted mainly of Everything All The Time, naturally, with a couple of new songs and a Hall & Oates cover thrown in for good measure. The live renditions of the Everything material came off much more dynamically than the recorded versions, which I think are a touch restrained and even samey-sounding across the length of the album – especially now that I’ve heard them performed. But by the same token, having experienced the songs live, I now appreciate the album even more. Yeah, I saw them at SxSW but they sounded much more effective in a packed, sweaty club (and was it ever sweaty) than at a lazy afternoon outdoor BBQ. A superb debut performance and deserving of every person in attendance.
You may ask why all the photos are of Ben. Well a) he’s the cutest and b) he’s the only one who got any light on him at all. What can you do. The Cleveland Free Times discusses the origins of Band Of Horses with Ben Bridwell, New York Press talks about his tattoos and this Monday at 9PM, 94.9 The Rock will have an interview with Ben recorded backstage at Lee’s on Tuesday night. And Even though the media page on their website claims these are tracks from Everything All The Time, they’re actually demo versions that are quite different from the final album versions and are definitely worth having/hearing. SubPop courteously provides downloads of the final verions.
MP3: Band Of Horses – “The Funeral”
MP3: Band Of Horses – “The Great Salt Lake”
MP3: Band Of Horses – “Funeral” (demo)
MP3: Band Of Horses – “Our Swords” (demo)
MP3: Band Of Horses – “I Lost My Dingle On The Red Line” (demo)
MP3: Band Of Horses – “For Wicked Gil” (demo)
MP3: My Egypt – “Battening Down The Hatches”
MP3: My Egypt – “NYC”
MP3: The Can’t See – “Bar Fight”
MP3: The Can’t See – “Suffer And Die”
Video: Band Of Horses – “The Funeral” (MOV)
MySpace: Band Of Horses
MySpace: My Egypt
MySpace: The Can’t See
NOW and The Toronto Star talk to tween sister act Smoosh while The Boston Globe warns against dismissing them as a novelty act. Decide for yourself when they open up for Eels at the Mod Club on Saturday night. Note – it’s an early show with Smoosh taking the stage at 7PM. Early bedtimes, dontchaknow.
Tiny Mix Tapes reports that Magnolia Electric Co mainman Jason Molina has three albums worth of material almost complete and will be looking to release them under his own name ASAP. The first of these, Let Me Go, Let Me Go, Let Me Go, will be out August 22. But wait – Songsohia.com also reports that a new Magnolia Electric Co record of old sessions and whatnot, Fading Trails, will also be coming out on September 12, coincidentally the same day that he is scheduled to be at Lee’s Palace with (hopefully) Shearwater – still looking for official confirmation of this bill. Tickets for the show are $13.50 and went on sale today.
Pitchfork says that Wilco fans who were disappointed their DVD collections didn’t get grow with the shelved Kicking Television live document can look forward to a live DVD of a Jeff Tweedy solo show later this year. And speaking of Jeff solo acoustic, RBally has been posting one of Jeff’s charity living room shows this past week and encourages you to donate to charity if you enjoy listening to the show. And if you don’t enjoy it, well, I guess you’re off the hook. Wilco are at Massey Hall on July 7.
Shows – Sound Team and Cold War Kids are at the Horseshoe July 31, ticket $10. Sound Team intrigues me but that’s the same night at The Hold Steady. What to do, what to do. Elsewhere/when, The Human Television are at Sneaky Dee’s July 24 (have you heard them? I like), Deadboy & The Elephantmen are at the ‘Shoe July 19, Hard-Fi at the Opera House August 8 and Xiu Xiu are at the El Mocambo October 20. Full tour dates at the ‘Fork.
np – Camera Obscura / Let’s Get Out Of The Country