August 13, 2008

Thao gets down

What a bundle of energy Thao is. If you've heard her CD, "We Brave Bee Stings and All" (our review HERE), you have an inkling of who she is. But if you've never seen her live, well, take the CD's energy and wratched it up x 10. I saw her last night at T.T. the Bear's Place in Cambridge, a great college dive if there ever was one. The band was fun and loud and appreciative of the crowd. Thao really gets into her tunes, swinging her hips, stomping her feet and in constant motion on stage. Her band the Get Down Stay Down -- drummer Willis Thompson and bassist Adam Thompson -- create a pretty great sound between the three of them. While the songs all seem to have a similar tempo and sound, Thao and co. always keep the songs moving and interesting with handclaps and audience participation.
Opening was David Shultz and the Skyline from Virginia (also where Thao is from). They are a pretty interesting band that meshes country and rock, maybe along the lines of, say, Wilco.
For more pics, click HERE. Below is a video I shot of "Bag of Hammers" from last night. Be ready, sound quality is loud to obnoxious because of my proximity to the speakers, but the visuals are pretty good.

August 11, 2008

A Swell time of season

It was a dark and stormy night! Yes, it was, but it was also a wonderful night of music as Swell Season and Josh Ritter (solo) blessed us with their music last night at the Pines Theater in Northampton. Josh came on first, just as the skies opened up for the first time. His ever-present humor helped us survive a pretty good downpour. He said he didn't have too many precipitation songs and sang "Snow Is Gone" and as well as "Girl in the War," with its lyrics "They sparkle bubble over, in the morning all you got is rain." As usual he told his humorous tales -- of walking in the morning and seeing the eyes of dogs and a goat (!?) in the dark and of singing songs to the potatoes in his basement. Josh finished up with Springsteen's "The River" and "Kathleen" (of course). He's just an absolute pleasure to listen to in concert.
Then the Swell Season, Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, came out and the rain stopped for a while. Their voices mesh so well together, he's definitely the fire to her, well, not ice, but soaring beautiful voice. When Marketa sings, you just have to take notice. They ended their set with a song called Fitzcarraldo, a Frames tune, that was just spectacular. They also did a Van Morrison cover.
For the encore, Marketa came out did a solo song on the piano, then Glen invited up some local musician he had met on his first trip to Northampton with the Frames. (the guy's name is Mark Schwaber; his his recounting of the night is HERE) They finished up inviting Josh back on stage to sing "Come and Find Me" in three-part beautiful harmony. A great, if soggy night!
For more pics, click HERE. For a clip of Swell Season's performance, click HERE.

August 7, 2008

The Submarines video

Another cool thing as we cool our heels till this weekend when we see the Swell Season: This time it's the video for the Submarines' "You, Me & the Bourgeoisie" from their album "Honeysuckle Weeks," which is one of my favorite albums of the year. Check the video out below:

August 5, 2008

Jesse Sykes in concert

Just got word that Jesse Sykes will be blowing through town in September at a small club in Allston called Great Scott. I have never been there, but you can bet I will be making my debut there to see her. She and her band the Sweet Hereafter are killer. If you've never see them in action, well, here's a treat. Fabchannel has posted a recent show of hers from Amsterdam. For those who've never visited the Fabchannel site, check it out. It's loaded video with concert performances from pop to punk to metal to singer-songwriters. The audio and video is top quality.
Below is the Jesse Sykes show....