Tuesday, July 5, 2005

Finding My Way...

I interrupt your regular programming er blog to start off with a guest blogger -- the one and only Katie Friel, my new suitemate who is a Media Studies major at Catholic University and soon to be station manager at WCUA She was with me last night and we both were completely and utterly wowed by the opener. In fact we both were like 10 year old school girls afterwards when we chatted with him. You have got to hear this guy play live.

  • Christopher Rees -- The Windmill

    Christopher Rees, an English singer songwriter who sounds like he is more likely from Louisiana than from London.

    He started off his performance, which is a Johnny Cash, Ryan Adams inspired alternative-country with a song on his steel guitar. Whereas Bigital (the previous band) simply provided background noise for common bar conversation, Rees commanded the attention of almost every person in the room. Even the bartenders were too distracted to pour pints. With his raspy, melodic voice, Rees sings of broken hearts, sleepless nights and missing home, a catalogue that would impress even the most cynical of alternative country fans. Rees even played a song he wrote in the style of Cash, just a day after he found out the legendary American singer had died. It does not disappoint. With his clenched eyes, harmonica and acoustic guitar, the song leaves the audience in awe, and running to the bar to trade in their Stella Artois for a double Jack Daniels.

    Though it is impossible to disassociate Rees with Adams, Cash and Jack White, there is something that is uniquely his. Whereas most alternative country artists are known for creating too much, for making a few good songs instead of one great song, with Rees it does not feel this way. By providing a brief back story for every song before he begins, the audience gets the sense that they are being allowed into something special. I walked away feeling bad for the band that followed him.


    Touché...although I loved the following band...

  • The Boy Least Likely To
    Can a stage be too crowded for its own good? At a small venue like the Windmill, the seven plus members of London’s indie pop band The Boy Least Likely to found little room to move around. But playing off tracks from their critically acclaimed album The Best Party Ever, the band opted for less show, more play.

    Like The Arcade Fire and The Brunettes, it seems like the more the merrier in executing happy go lucky simple melodies with complicated musicianship. From violins to recorders, and throwing in a banjo, the band seemed more like a garage sale of old instruments than a polished band. But on stage, between the tripping wires and the lack of personal space, they had fun. And dammit, I did too.

    You really can’t help but like this band. They are all smiles and their music is so damn catchy you can’t help but sing along. And even when they brought out the “slow songs” lead singer Jof Owen said they’ll do them “quickly.” Their on stage wit matches their clever lyrics. The last song, and perhaps their best, “Be Gentle With Me” was easily stuck in my head until the morning after, and gladly so. While their harmonies are not completely up to par, The Boy Least Likely to strives in making a song accessible – for the dancers, the music aficionados, and me.


    I wish I could give you some tunes because they both gave me copies of their newest albums last night, but my computer is still out sick. One of these days I'll get you lots of MP3s and pictures, but until then, enjoy one track from The Boy Least Likely to, courtesy of Cellophane Girl

  • The Boy Least Likely To -- Be Gentle With Me

    Ciao for now.

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