An excellent evening of moody, melodramatic rock last night at The Great American Music Hall in SF with Julian Plenti, the solo side project of Interpol frontman Paul Banks. It was just what the doctor ordered. Interestingly, I enjoyed his quieter material much more live than on the studio recording. Partly due to his amazing cellist. Wow, what beautiful complexity that instrument added to the evening.
The crowd was intimate but very enthusiastic, bestowing Mr. Banks lots of love throughout the night. They played their entire debut and then some, including some rockin’ new tracks and a great cover of America’s ‘Horse with No Name’. Enjoy the live footage!
I’ve been meaning to post this live footage of J. Tillman at Cafe du Nord recently performing a track from his latest album “Though I Have Wronged You” and one of my favorites from Vacalindo Territory Blues, “Barter Blues” for a while now. This show was the quintessential ‘slow jam’. I just love the way they roll into ‘Barter Blues’ during the set, and the pedal guitar playing….awww, it’s like religion. Watch it through to see J. Tillman worship it.
Tuesday night, San Francisco’s Rickshaw Stop played host to quite a line up of music, featuring our very own Girls and Brooklyn’s The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. I was there primarily for Girls and was pleased to see them pack the house. I’ve been smitten with this band for a while, (especially their drummer – he rocks!) so it’s nice to see them get their due recognition.
But I must admit I was pleasantly surprised with the Brooklyn hipster quintet with the annoying name, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. I hate even typing it and I could never quite make it through the entire album. Listening to it always felt like a game of name that 80s band. While I still stand by my opinion that their sound is a bit redundant, they definitely played a powerful and most enjoyable set.
Johannesburg-based BLK JKS played a rawkin’ show last night at the Rickshaw Stop in San Francisco. And from the looks of the lightly attended crowd, you guys didn’t know what you were missing. Their music is a wild concoction of transcendental African rhythms, Zulu soul and scorching rock and roll. And they like to jam. They are all completely self taught musicians and it was fascinating to watch them perform. I was struck by way they handled and played their instruments. It was definitely different. There was an air of reverence that translated into this feeling of the instruments playing them versus they playing the instruments. That or they worked some really good voodoo magic on me last night.
The band’s Mystery EP is out today on Secretly Canadian. If you’re heading to SXSW, you can check them out for yourself at one of the following shows:
Wednesday, March 18 11:00am
ME Television Studios (KEXP event)
Wednesday, March 18 10:00pm
Paradise Café (401 E. 6th St)
Thursday, March 19 2:00pm
The Parish (NPR event) (214 E. 6th St)
Thursday, March 19 10:30pm
Mohawk Patio (912 Red River St)