Thursday, May 14, 2009

Jeremy Messersmith & KasierCartel @ The Cedar

Jeremy Messersmith and KaiserCartel came together for an evening of folk-pop nourishment last Saturday night at the Cedar Culture Center, which was hosted by The Current and

KaiserCartel, a longtime GFP favorite, took the stage alongside their drum-puppetcat Daniel and asked the eerily quiet audience, "Can you guys keep it down?" which emitted chuckles throughout the crowd and set the mood for the easiness of the evening. After seeing two sit-down concerts at the Cedar this last week, I must say that Minnesotan audiences can be wonderfully respectful and I really appreciate it, but it is so weird when everyone is immensely quiet in that moment between an artist getting on stage and the first note of the first song.

At any rate, KC quickly got the crowd whooping and performed favorites like the catchy upbeat "Season Song" and mixed in some new songs from their upcoming album, which sounds like its going to be a full of the organic and honest pop-folk we've come to expect from the likes of KC. Throughout the show, Courtney Kaiser whipped out some nifty instruments, such as a mini accordion organ and a mini glockenspiel that was played with a buzzing milk frothier while Benjamin Cartel accompanied on the guitar and the drums at the same time. Jeremy Messersmith and his guitarist Andy were invited onstage for "Okay" to man the tambourine and drums, and luckily for us all, that wasn't the last jam session between the two bands.

After a satisfying set from KaiserCartel, Jeremy Messersmith came on. Jeremy is a local MNer, and if you didn't know that straight off, his songs "Franklin Avenue," "Light Rail" or "35th & Bryant" might clue you in. Jeremy's first full-length release The Alcatraz Kid came out in 2006 and songs like "Novocain" and the gorgeous guitar ballad "Beautiful Children" quickly gained attention through local radio play, including that of legendary Dan Wilson, who offered to produce Jeremy's next album, The Silver City, which was released last year.

Jeremy initially comes across soft-spoken, but throughout the night his voice carried strong sure and he seemed to get more comfortable and jovial with the audience. Jeremy's sound is often compared to Sufjan Stevens and Elliot Smith, but there's something undeniably wonderfully troubadour-esque about seeing him live, despite the use of electronic boxes (of which guitarist Andy manned like it was a computer keyboard, he was a pro). During the evening, something remarkable happened: I found myself getting so lost in the lyrics, I had to snap myself out of it when the song came to an end. I kept thinking to myself, "wow, that was a short song" when in reality it really wasn't. The songs are heartbreakingly honest with soothing electropop smart melodies, but its really Messersmith's vocals that I fell in love with. As soon as I got home from the concert, I wanted more. I googled and youtubed my heart out, I just couldn't get enough of his natural and easy tone. Ladies and gents, I'm officially infected with a serious case of the Messersmith.

Jeremy invited KaiserCartel back on stage and Andy ventured over to the Cedar's resident beat-up piano for an awesome rendition of "Don't Bring Me Down" by the Electric Light Orchestra. Since they obviously enjoyed playing with one another, I asked Jeremy after the concert how this pairing happened to form. Jeremy he said he really loved their album and when they were both at SXSW this year he told them that the next time they were in town they should perform together. The pairing is genius and the two groups really compliment each other. All in all, it was a wonderful night filled with upbeat dispositions and beautiful music.

No comments: