Monday, March 30, 2009

Catching Up

Avi Buffalo

I've let too much time go by and let too many show go unreviewed. Here's the first:

Wandering the deserted streets of a SxSW depleted Silverlake on Friday night, March 20, 2009 (Christ, I sound like Robert Osborne on TCM) I stumbled into Spaceland to find a spare crowd watching The Spires. They were engaging the audience with their expert set of melancholia laced indie rock. Their music is deceptively accessible, with an undertow of gravity and poignancy that defines their musical landscape and which intrigues the listener.

Among those there, Joe Fielder, who presented this band at a "Let's Independent!" event, remains a fervent supporter of The Spires, and all the bands he presented. They write easy, accessible music that lures the ear to close in on the thoughtful lyrics. Joe introduced me to them afterward and I found them to be approachable and down to earth. I look forward their new record due out in April.

It was nice to see Joe and Amber on this night as he was heading out of town a few days hence and this would be the last opportunity to sit and chat and have a drink together. For a while, anyway.

One reason I was there was to see Karin Tatoyan, who had been forced to cancel due to illness, but at least Avi Buffalo were still slated to appear, albeit at midnight. The band I didn't really know were the headliners, The Coral Sea, so I was pretty impressed with their expert set that was part Wolf Parade, part Pixies.

I enjoyed their performance, but was distracted by the members of Avi Buffalo Music being escorted in and out of the club to use the facilities or whatever, since they're under-age, but I suppose Spaceland is just being admirably cautious. I still grabbed Avi or Rebecca every time they went by to chat a little.

They didn't get on stage till after midnight, but still delivered a super set of songs I am becoming so familiar with, they're imprinted on my mind. Last time I saw them, Avi was battling flu symptoms, so tonight, it was great to hear his vocal performance back to normal. Which, in itself, is highly idiosyncratic. They gave a sparkling set for about twelve people... and that will sound highly improbable a year or two from now.

I just can't wait for Avi Buffalo's upcoming May Tuesday residency at The Echo, but it was still fun to see this quirky performance on a strange and kind of ghostly night. Like The Spires music, the whole night was pretty and sad at the same time. For a while, anyway, this town won't feel the same without Joe, but his impact will last until he returns.


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