Friday, March 26, 2010

KaiserCartel & Chris Garneau @ the Living Room

Tuesday evening I popped over to the Living Room to catch my favorite Brooklyn duo, KaiserCartel, who I haven't seen in way too long. They played mostly stuff off their upcoming new album, Secret Transit, due out in June. The album sounds like it's going to be a little bit of a departure from KaiserCartel's usual quiet, calm sound - almost every song they played at the concert was totally rockin'! Picks with Ivan on them were flying everywhere as Courtney threw them into the audience in fits of Rock 'n' Roll euphoria! But don't worry, they're still the same KaiserCartel you know and love. They still have chillingly beautiful harmonies, they still collaborate with each other in an amazingly equal and adorable partnership, they still have charming banter in between songs, and they still go out into the audience and sing the last song acapella while staring into your eyes (the song is just a different song). And that's why you should go support their new album - they're going DIY this time, so they're raising money on PledgeMusic. You can get anything from a pre-order CD before it hits the stores to KaiserCartel underwear (signed I believe) to your name in the credits to a private serenade to a song written by them with your name it. Man, if only I was rich because I want all of these things! So go, check it out, support the music. This kind of thing is an increasingly popular way for artists to fund art, and I think it's really cool.

Oh No [mp3] - (iTunes)

I had already made up my mind to go to the show when I found out that Chris Garneau was playing there too! So that was a happy surprise. In between KaiserCartel and Chris Garneau was Howard Jennings (or as my slightly tipsy friend kept calling him, Harold Jenkins...). Howard Jennings is like every teenage girls' dream - his songs are so romantic. Every single one was about just loving another person so much or missing another person so much or longing for another person so much. While he wasn't exactly my cup of tea (you guys should know how I feel by singer-songwriters by now), he seemed like a really nice down-to-earth guy and I think he could actually make it in the big time. He has a rich voice and his songs are catchy as hell. His sound is a little generic (meaning there's nothing about his sound that really sets him apart from the large number of other talented singer-songwriters out there), but in some ways that - along with the teenage-girl-heart-melting romantic lyrics - might help him make it in the mainstream. I could definitely see him becoming the next John Mayer or Jack Johnson. And the faux hawk was working for him, I gotta say.

You and Me [mp3] - (iTunes)

Last up was Chris Garneau, who was great, as before. It was just him and cellist this time, but that was plenty. The Living Room is the perfect venue to see him in because it's so intimate and so it really feels personal. His music is so dark, solemn and melancholy. It doesn't make sense not to see him perform it in an intimate setting. The City Winery was intimate too, though not as much and I had TERRIBLE seats. He didn't play Dirty Night Clown again on Tuesday, which made me sad. That's his one uptempo song, and while it still is dark it's probably not quite as sad. He did play Fireflies, which isn't so melancholy on the album but he played a slowed-down, sadder sounding version of it at the Living Room. But don't let it seem like I'm complaining that the songs are slow and sad, because I'm not. Chris' performances are very nuanced and completely entrancing. So entrancing in fact that people forgot to clap at the end of one song - everyone was hanging on his every note and he moved on to the next song rather quickly so we didn't even have time to come out of our little music trances and clap for him. All in all, it was a great show. Chris will be playing at the Living Room again this Tuesday with a baby orchestra (and as he felt the need to clarify for us that is "not an orchestra made up of babies but is rather a small orchestra"). And I think the show is free (well, if you don't the one drink per set minimum). You should definitely go check him out if you haven't seen him live.

Fireflies [mp3] - (iTunes)

1 comment:

Kristine said...

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