Paper Garden Records current roster Peasant, Emanuel and the Fear and Darla Farmer represent a perfect diverse live line-up. I endured Art Battles and Comedy Central's Kurt Metzger before the bands started. It was an "Experience" for me but both were enthusiastically received by the crowd.
Peasant's slot was to follow the comic, a difficult feat at best for a guy with a guitar. Fortunately for all who slowly reentered the backspace and made a commitment to stay, soon realized Peasant (Damien DeRose) is not standard singer songwriter fare. His is a voice to follow. He played some new songs from Shady Retreat to be released in 2010 and one never performed live. We were treated to two older songs from On the Ground. "Your Good" was fabulous without the drums and Damien said he usually plays "Manners" when an audience is polite. "Hard Times" was appropriate and gave me pause to think about Peasant's ability to weave topical content without being preachy. Peasant is a quiet but reflective voice of his generation. And his voice penetrates in a subtle but lasting way.
At about 1:00 AM more folks invaded to catch Boy Crisis and Das Racist and for the young the night was just starting. I left at 1:30.
Flickr Set is not up to par but I found the staging area too long with little depth making it difficult for band interaction.
Langhorne Slim worked up the formally hometown crowd @ Bell House in Brooklyn. They hung on every word, yelp, utterance and soulful vocal. The songs from Be Set Free sounded so fresh. The new band lineup spiced up songs with additional keyboard, banjo and saxophone. They set the house on fire with “Cinderella” and “For a Little While” and brushed us with a warm breeze with slower songs.
The ballads were amazing and it was so nice when Slim was alone on stage and the audience was with him all the way. This is not an intimate venue so it was striking that he was able to have a conversation between songs.
Slim expressed gratefulness to the audience who gave it right back in spades. It is not too often to see love and music working their magic. Langhorne Slim has a relationship with his audience and it’s a good one.
Langhore Slim's Be Set Free has broken the glass ceiling reaching beyond the novelty beloved by fans, to a wider audience. This is one side of Langhorne Slim. It is the studio side. Langhorne Slim is an incredibly raw live band. Be Set Free produced by Chris Funk (The Decemberists) changes it up adding variety with new instrumental treatments. I would call it Langhorne Slim smooth but not lite.
Slim's songwriting and vocals is so versatile that they cross a variety of genres. Be Set Free does just that combining soul, folk and symphonic rock with heart stopping vocals that reach for the rafters. The slew of instruments piano, organ, brass, strings of all sorts are played by a cast of talented contributors.
The songs are simple and basic like a conversation spiced with little truisms. It is Slim's vocal delivery that adds emphasis broadening interpretation. There are many great catchy melodies, raucous Honky Tonk as well as strong heart tugging ballads.
“Be Set Free” is a ballad of significance with jewel like slide guitar and expressive piano. The soft shaker is the heartbeat for “I Love You But Goodbye”, blending gorgeous cascading piano with Slim’s fervent vocals.
Starting as a mild tempo and escalating to a full soulful throttle of impassioned intonation “For a Little While” blends contrast of timing. It peaks when Malachi DeLorenzo's slow shuffle drumming evolves into a hardcore exuberance mixed with the exhilarating mayhem of mashed up ingredients. “Cinderella” flirts with the listener, offering a soulful wink with help of Honky Tonk swing and an enthusiastic boy chorus.
The sumptuous "Leaving My Love" uses symphonic swells interspersed with lovely vocal dialogue between Slim and Erica Wennerstrom (Heartless Bastards) The chorus of / I can't believe it / I'm leaving my love / intensifies like romantic longings.
In the tradition of country confessionals "So Glad I'm Coming Home" offers sincerity about going home in a sobered state and hoping to be welcomed back.
The album closes with "Boots Boy" an upbeat love affirmation, / I don't want just anybody / I want you / nobody but you /.
Be Set Free is sweet and sultry and naturally uplifts the spirit, A high worth getting.
I was going to see them again at Death by Audio tomorrow but they cancelled due to illness.
I saw them for the first time at CMJ at Zebulon. I unfortunately created a poorly titled post CMJ Day Three, so I'm hoping for a little more exposure via search with this re-post of the review and Video entry.
To say I was delighted to see Little Teeth is an understatement. The twosome of Sofia Bell and Dannie Murrie recently added Sean Real to their inner circle. Their very original music is Folk as an art form played with a conviction of sensibility and spirit. Their all out abandon of song structure focused on experimentation, strange but beguiling harmonies and escalating emphasis of vocals, drumming, cello or banjo.
I was outside socializing when the band set up and was flabbergasted when I moved to the front to find the most intricate found object drum set dejour including a small xylophone. Dani Murrie strapped on an assortment of shells and bells from ankle to knee.
During the set they brought out some additional homemade contraptions. The traditional instruments were plucked and bowed with attitude adding to the disjointed samplings of sound that fried my brain from overdrive of the unexpected. The drummer Sean Real has a passion for playing. A joy to watch.
the music sounds like a much looser Coco Rosie or The Roaches scrabbled. They bring it on with guts, punk and moxie. Halfway through their fifty state tour they stated, “We showered tonight”. Everyone cheered.
and if your really intrigued this is an awesome video highlighting their musical point of view.
I started taking pictures at the band holding station. Later settling in behind a barricade with the NYPD, sharing the space with older photographers donning fancy cameras and trench coats. Other new school guerilla photographers were on the street and a part of the action!