with Kimya Dawson
The Carolina Theater
Sit-down rock shows are always a little strange...do you stand
up? But then what about all the folks who remain
seated and now can't see the stage? Do you sit nicely and applaud
the effort of the band? Doesn't make for the best
live rock atmosphere, does it? I don't have any answers, but all
of these things pop in my head any time I see some-
one in an old theater like the Carolina Theater. The joint has
ushers in monkey suits for chrissakes...
When we got there Kimya Dawson was midway through
her set. Most of my knowledge on Dawson stems from the
"Juno" soundtrack, filled with cutesy folk songs by her. And that
was pretty much what her live set was as well...just
one woman, her guitar, and a lot of goofy/cute songs that were pretty
entertaining in a live setting but I'm not sure how
well it would hold up on multiple listens. She was a very
engaging performer though, especially the between song
banter - apparently she has a tattoo on her arm that matches the name
of the new AC/DC album that is/was only for
sale at Wal-Mart, much to her disgust.
For The Rosebuds, this was pretty
much the kick-off show for a cross country tour they would be embarking
of days later. As per usual, Ivan and Kelly had a different set
of band mates helping them out - Matt McCaughan was
there as their on-again, off-again drummer (but would not be on the
coming tour with them), and poster artist extra-
ordinaire Casey Burns was helping out on the bass.
The show was fine, as expected - lots of songs from their new record,
"Life Like", which was fine by me because that
release has really been getting a lot of airplay in my car and at
home. "nice Fox", "Border Guards" and "In the Back
yard" are my three favorite songs from the new record and they all made
the cut this fine evening, as well as a number
of older tracks like "Bluebird", "Boxcar" and "Get Up Get Out".
Kelly tried her best to get the crowd animated, inviting
some of the kids in the front rows on stage to dance, but the tuxedos
in charge shut down the dance party and most of
the show was spent just sitting in puffy theater seats watching a great
local band perform their songs live. So we just
sat and watched, and let our ears do the dancing instead.
(Photo from an older show in SF, I was too lazy to go up front to take
any photos at this show)
I love Danielson so much, that when I realized they wouldn't be playing
in the Triangle I drove four hours up to Asheville
to make sure I didn't miss seeing the man live. And it was worth
it, ten fold. Well, maybe not ten fold...I'm not sure I
would have driven forty hours for the gig, but you get my drift.
And stop taking me so literally.
Cryptacize, who are keyed into
the Danielson/Sufjan family via their label Asthmatic Kitty, opened the
show. I was
vaguely aware that they were a Bay Area band even though I'd never seen
nor heard them before, but it wasn't until
seeing them live that I realized that Chris from Deerhoof and
singer/songwriter Nedelle made up two thirds of the group.
They were cute, sweet, and poppy, with just enough edge that they fit
in perfectly as an opener for Danielson. I don't
think comparing them to Deerhoof would be that far off base, though
much mellower and lo-fi. I could also compare
them to the vastly under-appreciated Young People, but I'm guessing not
enough folks would know what that means.
Either way, they were very good and I wish I'd been keyed into them
when I lived back in the Bay Area.
Danielson Famile. Brother Danielson. It doesn't matter what
name Daniel Smith and his crew are playing
under, I'm there and as happy a a pig in shit. This was the most
rockin' that I've ever seen them, or at least since the first
show I caught by accident many years ago. The last few times I've
seen him have been on the folkier side, but this time
it was a seven-piece band (including all the members of Cryptacize),
all decked out in matching uniforms and John
Fluevog custom "Danielson Famile" shoes.
They just recently released a two disc anthology/greatest hits/mix of
songs spanning the first ten years of the band
called "Trying Hartz", and because of that they spent nearly the entire
show playing nothing but their best older songs.
I was ecstatic... I got to hear "Good News for the Pus Pickers",
"Rubbernecker", and a on of other classics, and as an
added bonus they pulled out "Did I Step on Your Trumpet?" during the
encore so at least the johnny-come-latelys had
one song they could sing along with. This was the final night of
their tour - the band couldn't have been any tighter,
Daniel Smith was full of comical quips from the stage, and I had a
smile on my face that was so wide it threatened to
break my ears. It was a fantastic show, and well worth the drive
up to Asheville. But next time, play the Triangle
please (the area in North Carolina, not the instrument...though both
would be fine now that I think about it).
(Photo found on Stereogum;
everything I took that night was crap...but I wasn't exactly trying