05 May 2006

i've been hangin' 'round this barroom, i can wait

after a quick drink with snoop majjy maj at the delancey, lucy met up with me and we headed over to bowery ballroom for Hem (ms) and Josh Ritter (ms). obviously we are thrilled to return to bowery ballroom. (which i will miss once again because of that brilliant relocation of the upcoming national show to, you guessed it, webster fucking hall.)

so i've been a little obsessed with the hem song "
dance with me, now darling" (you kinda have to jiggle the handle on this link, but it does work) since old west river put it on the super fantastic birthday 'porch music' mix, and i've been listenting to "rabbit songs" and "eveningland" quite a bit lately. dance with me is for sure one of the shining stars of eveningland, and rabbit songs isn't quite as likeable for me, so i wasn't really certain what kind of show to expect from these guys, but they did nothing but impress.

sally's voice is strong, clear and vulnerable, and the 7 other cats onstage created such an overwhelmingly full sound it was like a wind blowing at you. a pleasant, refreshing wind. or maybe that was the aircon. they did not play "dance with me" which made me sad, but they did cover "rainy night in georgia" which is a surefire way to win me back. they are far better live then their albums would ever let you imagine. long live alt-country (how come no-one calls it 'alt-cunt"?)

josh ritter, on the other hand, was not what i was hoping for. "
girl in the war" is a plucky, upbeat (at least tunewise) little ditty that makes it fun to walk down the street. i knew he'd open with it, but i didn't know he was gonna turn it into a dirge. whatever. he lost me at "peter said to paul". lucy and i paid vague attention for about 5 more songs, first upstairs where we couldn't see, then on the stairs until we got kicked off and finally downstairs where we couldn't see. we left before he finished his set. still, i am a big fan of The Animal Years.

west river is going to tonight's show, so if he gets 'dance with me' i get to beat him up.

i am headed, once again and for the first time, to see the books at northsix.

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