Frankly, before Saturday Owen Pallett was only familiar to me as contributing string arrangements on Arcade Fire's The Suburbs and Beirut's The Flying Club Cup albums, and his Oscar nomination for the score of Her. Hearing that he employs a looping technique similar to Andrew Bird, I figured he was playing in a genre and a style I was already very fond of.
In the four years since the release of his first Sub Pop album, Avi Buffalo (below) has moved from teenage guitar prodigy to a professional musician in his mid-twenties with a large and dedicated fan base. Some hard luck came with the successful launch of his debut record when the band he had built his early triumphs on broke apart and he had to finish his first tour scrambling to find replacements that wouldn't disappoint fans who were anxious to hear songs from the album played live.
I was glad I ran in to Avi near the back of the theatre before they went on, so I could tell him how much I enjoy the new album, and we got to chat a little while. Now a band of four musicians, with a keyboardist, Anthony Vezirian (below on right) and a bassist, Doug Brown (below below), he was glad I was there to hear the new music and confessed that it's only the tip of the iceberg. He has at least 30 more songs written and ready to record, so there may be another release in the not too distant future. Wouldn't that be great?
I felt like I was seeing a band reach a peak as a performing ensemble and felt completely vindicated in my devotion to them for so long. Rounding out the 40 minute set were more selections from the new album, so I was super glad I'd purchased it and listened to it so many times that the songs sounded like familiar tunes performed to perfection. I'd say that Avi Buffalo has finally hit it's stride.
By the way the other three albums were: The New Pornographers new album, the brilliant and completely addictive Brill Bruisers (can't wait to see them at The Wiltern on October 17th), Kan Wakan's amazing debut album Moving On, and Andrew Bird's Bands Of Glory, which highlights his single-microphone ensemble who are set to play at Hollywood Bowl this upcoming Sunday.
text and photos: whrabbit