Saturday, June 11, 2011

Thao & Mirah - Bobby - Led to Sea -- Black Cat - June 10 2011

Led to Sea - This band is a solo project by a woman singing and playing violin. She does work with a band, but as has been shown throughout the ages, a band is far more expensive to tour with than going solo. She thickens things out by laying down loops including some fairly complicated rhythms of a plucking pattern that she bowed and percussed on top of. Her singing was pretty without becoming precocious. Some of the songs were good and not surprisingly reminded me of Rasputina, although there was nothing quite as rocking here in this set. Decent enough set, not overly lively, but respectable and well received by the growing crowd.

Bobby - This six-piece begins with vocals, keyboards, and percussion. The music is dream pop without a lot of pop. I saw the band members shifting instruments with a guitar being brought out. I decided to shut my eyes and see if I could hear the guitar in the mix in the next song. After a minute or so, I thought I detected a deep sound that may have been from the guitar. As I opened my eyes, I saw that they were playing a bass and 3 guitars. So basically everything came out like dreamy keyboards with a bass and percussion. There was a song later in the set  that had some nice counterparts that were a bit edgy, but much of this long 37 minute set was in the meditative style. I think the crowd was a bit too relaxed to offer much in the way of support.

Thao & Mirah - It seemed like there was an unwarranted wait until the set began, but the 34 minutes seemed longer as I was really tired by now. Fortunately the band launched into some catchy music to wake me up a bit. The duo are vocalists and also play guitars and some other things. They are joined by a drummer and bass player (the only male) who also switched around a bit. The opening violinist joined in as well. Quirky minimalist pop sort of like the Low Anthem meeting 1/2 Japanese? That is a stretch, but this band does have its own voice. It alternates between moody and edgy and it never gets too dense. I would like a little more to grab onto at times, but I do have to respect the unique approach they take. However, as I see a large crowd here, I wonder how much of the present hype of this band will sustain itself over a year or two. We shall see, but for now? Eh, not bad.

Curator of the Night: Curated festivals have been a successful innovation in recent years, thanks to ATP. Thurston Moore (no surprise) and Nick Cave have done very well at this and I had only wished I would have spent the funds to have seen their shows. I noticed that Wilco and Ray Davies are both curating festivals. I was rather stunned to see that Davies did a very good job, while Tweedy must have picked some pretty cool bands that I really don't know of... or so I hope. Anyway, Ray Davies is curating Meltdown with sets by Wire, Current 93, Sonics, Fugs, Madness, Lydia Lunch, Ex Kinks playing withRobyn Hitchcock and Bruce Foxton, Dengue Fever, Yo La Tengo, etc. While Wilco has themselves, Levon Helm, Thurston Moore, Purling Hiss and a few others at the Solid Sound Festival. I am sure budgets are quite different, but I know the trip to England would be more fun than the drive to Massachusetts.


Anonymous said...

Re: Thao and Mirah, I'm pretty sure they self-define, on this tour, as an all woman band...and Mirah has a pretty long history, and this configuration is a collaboration, did you know who you were going to see before you went?

David Hintz said...

No, I did the barest of research before the show which is how I operate as it allows me as fresh and untainted view of the music as possible. I have researched both artists a little more since, but don't have much to add as the history is there for all to examine on their own. They both have their fans and perhaps their music separately or together is excellent. But this show moved me only as much as I wrote up. I will say that the middle set by Bobby may have put me in a very tired state of mind.