Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Clare & The Reasons and Keren Ann @ the Knitting Factory 12/14/09

Last night I mosied on over to the new Knitting Factory (which, while a very nice venue, is much too posh in my opinion to maintain it’s old name that has implications of grit, punk rock and graffiti) to see Clare & the Reasons and Keren Ann. Clare was up first, and she was just so delightful. Both her clear, heady, vibrato-filled voice and her bright, smiling face remind me of various 1930's movie musical stars. Her music is incredibly fun and bouncy and had everyone bobbing their heads and whistling along. All in all, it was a very marvelous set - including the in-between-song banter, such as when Clare said that one song "could be about anything, you could sing it to ice cream if you were lactose intolerant..." had to be my favorite quote of the night. And this song about Pluto being demoted from its status as a planet was one of my favorite songs of the night, (though there were many) though I think it doesn't quite do Clare's voice justice.
Pluto [mp3] - (iTunes)

Keren Ann has a beautiful, naturally rich voice. And while I did very much enjoy her music, I felt like I should be sitting in a cocktail dress in a jazz club in New Orleans, sipping something fancy at a small table rather than standing (or sitting on the floor, as many people were doing) with all my bulky winter items, drinking a G&T in a plastic cup here in cold NYC. I have to say that, as lovely as Keren's music was, it was almost too lovely – the gentle, warm music (combined with my Monday night lethargy) practically lulled me to sleep. I was kind of hoping for something somewhat upbeat to follow Clare & the Reasons, especially considering how cheery and buoyant their music was. But still, I think Keren Ann is incredibly talented and you should definitely check her out. I also have to say that it seems like none of the recordings I have of her do her gorgeous voice and music justice. This song is one of the ones I thought showed her off the best, and also was one of her few more rockin', less gentle songs.

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