Concert Catch-up (4/6/06 - 5/1/06) 4 Shows

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah (4/6/06)

At the time, I hadn't had much experience with Clap Your Hands Say Yeah , but I liked the couple songs I was able to download from various blogs (see right side). This show at the Beachland was a sold-out, however I was lucky enough to call and still get a couple last-minute tickets they had for sale... I can't say much about the show other than they were loud and I wasn't quite expecting the lead singers voice, which I already knew was unconventional, to be that loud. Still a great show and that CD is probably in my top 20 now! Highly recommend it. Note: New Album January 30th!!!

Guster / Andrew Bird (4/7/2006)

This was poised to be one of the best shows of all time, however the John Carroll University venue made it one of the worst. Poor sound, poor crowd... we ended up leaving early. However I went with my friend Tim and asked him to guest blog this one:

As you know I could easily go on about the rude audience at the Andrew Bird/Guster concert at John Carroll University Friday night - and I will for a bit - but I'd rather concentrate on the talent, not the merry makers. It pains me, as an alum of JCU, to see so many kids there not for the music as much as for something to do without leaving campus. If they were in that acoustically horrible gym for the music, they wouldn't have felt obliged to demonstrate that not only had they passed Rude 101 but that these non-stop talkers got an A in this class. But enough of them in general and Ms."No duct tape could stop this mouth" who sat behind us. That I didn't turn around and offer her my commitment to euthanize her the moment she's ready amazed me. Okay, so, on with the show.

The reason I labeled the concert the Bird/Guster concert is because I really feel Andrew should have or could have been the top act on the bill. I don't know if you felt that way, too, but the reason I do is because I think what he did takes an inordinate amount of musicality. Not to take anything away from Guster - they are certainly talented and lots of fun, but Andrew Bird is almost like a guy with multiple personalities, changing instruments,tempos, mood and dynamics as much as any group I've ever known. The amazing thing about that is that he's all alone up there.

Guster reminded me a lot of Poco, in that they are generally up, fun, rocky and the kind of group that you can just get into to do what my favorite quote about music says - "music wipes away from the soul, the dust of every day life." Easy to forget the troubles of the world listening to a band like that.
Back to Andrew - the layers upon layer upon layers I'm afraid went over the heads of the poor kids at Carroll. Mostly because they were there to hang out with their sisters and their brothers from Alpha Aren't We Pretty. But they also probably didn't appreciate him because they simply don't know how to listen. Most music for these kids is, I'm afraid, the omnipresent crap they hear on Cleveland's notorilously (rently anyhow) bad rock stations. It's just something to fill the space between their ears. Bird, however, says to people "listen to this...can you feel the textures, see the layers, be enveloped by the notes, the rythms, get lost in the dreaminess of the violin, jarred by the guitar, moved by the lyrics?"
Maybe at Oberiln, Andrew, but not at John Carroll.

Despite it all, it was still a really good time. I hope we can see them both again in a venue with an appreciative audience.

The good news is that they're coming back (separately)!! Unfortunately Guster will be a the dreaded House of Blues (though it couldn't be worse that JCU), and Andrew Bird will be at the Beachland. Check the calendar for details.

Chris Pureka (4/21/06)

Chris is one of the couple artists who I feel are VERY UNDERRATED. Her first CD "Driving North" was an instant favorite... It's production and sound were clean and catchy. Sitting at the Barking Spider listening to her warm up, I could easily see that it was more of her playing than any production that made the album so good. She sounded amazing... with one of the highlights being when she covered Old Crow Medicine Show's "Wagon Wheel." This had to be one of the better shows that I've seen at the Spider. You can read about her new album here (note she ended up canceling this show due to illness). :(

Josh Buskirk (5/1/06)

I've never been much for purely instrumental musicians, but seeing Josh Buskirk at the Barking Spider this night was a real treat... One of the great surprises you get when you just show up. His amazing guitar playing really played upon my love for the Leo Kottke album "Standing In My Shoes, of which he covered my favorite song from that album! He did sing on one song and he ended up having an enjoyable sense of humor. Check him out.

Posted: Tue - December 5, 2006 at 07:00 PM           |