|brain not having turned to mush
||[Jun. 12th, 2008|01:49 am]
I wrote a review of the Swell Season Show in Richmond at Toad's Place.
My friend and me wrote a review of the Mermaid Skeletons show in Richmond at the Edgar Allen "Moody Goth Kid" Poe Museum.
My friend who is my friend's boyfriend took amazing pics of these shows and some of those are here.
The Swell Season
The Swell Season, Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, brought more to their show than just a recital of their soundtrack. Hopefully all the people who came to see the Academy Award winners fell in love with the entire set of songs. I know I did, and I was already psyched to see not only the music from the film Once, but also, the singer for the Frames. I’ve been a fan of the Frames since about 2002. They are a band I never thought I’d be able to see live.
The show began with Hansard by himself on stage with plain lighting and no amplification; just him and his holey guitar-filling the entire space. A little bit more into the set, Irglova sang All the Way Down from Hansard's contribution to “The Cake Sale” project.
The show was sold out. At times, the audience was rude and loud; such as using the hushed part of songs to shout to their friends about movies and beer. They were, however, mesmerized for these early quiet songs.
They played a very long time. There was a Pixies cover and a Van Morrison cover, “Into the Mystic.” The horn section at the end of “Into The Mystic” was not played by horns but instead sung by Irglova and Hansard. Their fiddle player, Colm Mac An Iomaire even played one of his solo pieces.
I was close enough to the front to see the incense at the side of the stage and the Persian rug underneath the grand piano. The backing band was the Frames and they even played a Frames song, “God Bless Mom”, during which Marketa Irglova, who was feeling under the weather, stepped offstage for a few minutes of recuperation. Despite illness, her vocals throughout the show still sounded amazing.
These songs they've written together that are a joy on CD are heartbreakingly beautiful and transcendent live. Their award winner, “Falling Slowly”, brought the entire audience singing like a choir. Dag.
On Saturday night we were welcomed into the Enchanted Garden at the Poe Museum for the CD release show of local Richmond auteurs the Mermaid Skeletons. They were joined by Zac Hyrciak and the Jungle Beats and David Schultz and the Skyline.
Loulouhex's awesome rock chick friend: MissLoulouhex showed up late so she missed Zac. My boyfriend remarked that he sounded like Sondre Lerche and I wouldn’t disagree. Unfortunately the sound system was not yet set up for his performance so some of it was drowned out by the crowd. But overall, the music was pleasant, the harmonies were lovely and Zac probably listens to the same music as his older brother Josh from Mermaids.
The Young Sinclairs were also supposed to play, but had some car trouble, so they were not able to make it. I heard they were supposed to do a quieter set, which I was looking forward to. I had never seen David Schultz before, but his music reminds me of better Gold-era Ryan Adams. Curtis Patton’s melodic guitar parts were wonderfully surprising.
Loulouhex: Shockoe Bottom is not fit forhuman consumption on a Saturday night unless you’re looking for vomiting dudes and catcalls from said vomiting dudes. The Poe museum’s courtyard was a magical little oasis. The street lights lit up the trees above the walls as the leaves shimmied in the breeze. Very pretty, like the Mermaid Skeletons music. Mermaid Skeletons were lovely; but I’ve never seen them not be. Their songs start quietly and build to giddy layers of instruments and voices. Sarah Dyson, a member who doesn't live in Richmond, was in town for the show. Her vocals were a real treat.The opening song had multiple drummers situated in the alcoves behind the band - all that extra percussion brought a really special texture to the sound.
Loulouhex's awesome rock chick friend: I agree, I thought the setting was perfect, especially for the music. I’m not really a fan of giant tents and view-obstructing poles, but that’s a nitpicky little complaint. Every member of Mermaids performed well—I am always in awe of how tight their sets are, given the numerous instrument changes and the sheer number of people on stage. I was happy to be able to hear Anne Spraker’s organ so clearly; it usually gets crushed under the weight of horns, banjos and guitars. My favorite song, “An Affair With Education” sounded lush and gorgeous and it never fails to give me goose bumps.
Loulouhex: Luckily, I bought my ticket in advance as the performance was sold out by the time I got there after work. Unlike a lot of shows in Richmond, those who arrived on time and those who bought tickets in advance were rewarded with entry. There were a few fence jumpers and a few who snuck in the front and while it was packed, it was not unpleasant. There were a few rotten apples; a girl who not only didn’t turn off her phone ringer, but also answered the phone. There was a guy who said that this really wasn’t his jam; I wanted to ask him why is he here, talking through the quiet bits, when there were people who couldn’t get in? Overall though, most everyone was transfixed by the music.
Loulouhex's awesome rock chick friend: The Mermaid Skeletons EP, “Darlings” is now out on Triplestamp. It was wonderfully recorded by Allen Bergendahl and perfectly captures the band’s charming, beautiful music.