Tuesday, October 20, 2009

his Orchestra at the Light FM Residency

On Monday, October 19, 2009, I headed on over to Spaceland, not only to see Light FM and to pick up their new CD, Let There Be Light FM, but to see his Orchestra (at right). I happened on this band much the same way as I discovered Division Day, and in the very same venue. Walking into Spaceland to see the headliner a couple of years ago, I ran into Division Day midway through their set and was immediately transfixed by the gorgeous sound emanating from the stage and the hook-laden inspiration of their writing.

I snapped up the CD, Beartrap Island then and there and it became one of my favorites of the year. I only saw part of their set, but became obsessed with trying to see them again, yet as the weeks turned into months, I was foiled time and again by competing concerts. I have since seen them many times. Same thing with his Orchestra.

I went to see The Wooden Birds on May 28th, this year, and walked into the last three or four songs by h.O. and was flabbergasted by the music. I remember looking around to see if anyone else was noticing and saw Spaceland full of people staring, mouths agape, at the band on stage.

I recall the spectacular harmony vocals and the furious sawing away of three band members on violins. It was sublime and electrifying. I picked up their CD Field Guide To the Wilds, and upon first listening, decided this was one of the best bands I've heard. For so young a group, they play and perform with a passion and joy and solid professionalism most groups can only hope to emulate.

This would be only my second exposure to the band live, and now I not only knew the music, but every single lyric. Douglas took the stage alone, to begin with a simple acoustic folk song, but before long was joined by Whitney at the keyboard who sang harmonies. A guy dancing in front climbed on stage and donned a guitar, another climbed up on stage and sat at the drums and gradually his Orchestra took shape on stage.

The first song was unfamiliar, but every bit as good as all their other compositions. Which is to say excellent. Every song lifted me higher and my opinion of the band rose accordingly. they sang "Black Coffin", "Hybernation" and my favorite, "Interesting End of the Day" from the CD, among a selection of early material I'd never heard. But it was the finale of "Since I" that was so powerful and theatrically extravagant that set my heart soaring. I can't believe how perfect this band sounds. his Orchestra are just one of life's special things.

I'll talk about Light FM's wonderful set when I review their new CD, Let There Be Light FM at Radio Free Silver Lake next Tuesday.


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