Thursday, August 14, 2008

Between Artist and Audience

Tuesday night's (August 12, 2008) show at the Echoplex was headlines by Ariel Pink, but I went primarily to see Brooklyn-based band Chairlift. I'd seen them last July (2007) at the Silverlake Lounge when they opened for Everest and I liked them a lot and got their EP from them. But this time, maybe it was the venue, maybe the year gone by, they sounded bigger and grander. They write very orchestral sounding Indie-pop songs even though they are only the same three musicians as last year.

Caroline has an amazing 'classically trained-sounding' voice. She can whisper and coo, then let loose with yelps and howls or just a strong, clear, bell-like voice and at the same time as she is playing a beautifully accomplished keyboard. Aaron compliments with wonderful wailing guitar and occasionally great vocal support. Patrick is their excellent drummer, who also steps out from behind his drums to play guitar sometimes. Each song was a gem that would consistently surprise you with its sudden shifts featuring tambourine, maracas and struck cowbells. Real serious musicians who also manage to have fun, too. Add Chairlift to the list of Brooklyn bands I really like.

Friends of theirs from back east, who have recently transplanted themselves here are Gangi. I didn't get to meet Lyle Nesse when I saw them play at The Scene in Glendale on July 31, so it was great to get the chance to speak to him at this show. He kindly told me he was pleased by the post I had written on their set, and, suddenly, I realized what is so different in my love affair with music this time around. It's the breakdown of the barrier between the musicians and their audience. No longer do they seem like these rarified individuals living in a parallel world unable to be reached or even approached. They come down and mingle with their fans and even develop friendships.

Maybe it's only the fact that we live in the same city, but it's more than that. The internet is probably most responsible by allowing a kind of running conversation if you choose to participate. Bands talk to bands, bands to fans, fans to bloggers, bloggers to bloggers, bloggers to bands. It's pretty great!

I was happy to get to tell Lyle how much I love their CD (I'm currently obsessed with their song "Ground", it's beautiful, sad and uplifting at the same time) and how often I listen to it. How strong I think the songwriting is. How grateful he was to hear it and how grateful I was to have the opportunity to say it.

I feel lucky to be here to experience this because it seems like there's an inordinately large numbers of extrememly talented artists around right now. Just keeping up is almost a full-time job. Especially as new bands keep emerging from all over the world.

Anyway Ariel Pink came on too late for me to stay so I only saw a couple of songs but it really wasn't my thing. But judging by the reaction of the fans, I was in the minority.

Just heard Fleet Foxes are coming back to town to the El Rey on September 22. Like I said before, see them now, because I predict by next summer, they'll only be able to fit in the Hollywood Bowl.

Looking forward to next Tuesday night's Second Anniversary of Joe Fielder's "Let's Independent!" series. Radio Free Silver Lake is directly responsible for at least a couple of bloggers I can think of, He certainly was the first music blog I read with any regularity (It's gotta be over two years ago or more) and I'm proud to say I was at the first "Let's Independent!" on September 6, 2006 to see Great Northern, The Movies and The Western States Motel. All bands that I have gone to see over and over and over.

This months show looks to be another winner with Xu Xu Fang, who's EP I've been playing into the ground since seeing them at the Fonda May 31. Also can't wait to see a paired down Death To Anders play an acoustic set which should be startling. And The Savages who I've only seen once before at another great Boardner's show. Admission is $6. which goes to the band and there's the Dewar's $3. special. Come out to support one of L.A.'s best monthly music events.


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