Little Lies and Massive Dreams

My name is Bear. I play in a band called Talking About Commas and live and work in Providence, RI. I like music.
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Sep 24, 2010

Tuning the Devil's Harp with the Barr Brothers

These days the guys in the Slip have diversified so much that it’s rare to see BAM onstage just as The Slip. That doesn’t mean that the boys aren’t making amazing music. The newest side project is B and A’s take on beautiful folksy/Americana music (yes I realize the band is Canadian, but its still Americana!), The Barr Brothers. The brothers Barr are joined by some friends from Montreal, this tour is harpist Sarah Page and multi-instrumentalist Andres Vial.

Last Memorial Day weekend the band rolled through Providence to deliver a great show at the artsy Firehouse 13. The somewhat short set (they only have one album) featured pretty much every tune on the album plus a number from brad’s solo guitar album, The Fall Apartment, and some new gems. There are certain themes and imagery that find themselves at the core of this band’s music - women that got away, the Devil, mythology, searching, reflection - that differ from the Slip’s more abstract lyrical canon. Whether principal songwriter Brad Barr has been evaluating his own life or letting Nathan Moore’s influence seep in to his musical subconscious is not known, what is known is the personal connection the listener makes with these lyrics is more intense than I’ve experienced with the Slip or Surprise me.

Slow ballads like “Cloud” and “Beggar in the Morning” showcase Brad’s more delicate side whilst singing in a register most befitting to his vocal prowess. A friend of mine thinks that the lyrics to “Cloud” could be adapted into a children’s book and as I listen to the song I can visualize the imagery and message of this wonderful song, Different sounds and textures added to Barr’s songs (I saw him do most of these at a solo show a couple years ago) provided a finely woven musical quilt that would keep anybody warm on a cold winters day. Now you may not dance your ass off, like at Surprise Me at their best or have your bell rung by the avant-rock soundscapes of the Slip but you will find yourself tapping along with a smile as these 4 musicians make beautiful music with Barr’s best lyrics to date as a focal point. If you haven’t bought this CD yet, do it NOW. And go see them if they ever get out of the northeast.

Opener: n/a
Venue Info:
Beer sitch: Full beer and Wine Bar. Ranging from Murphys Stout to Narraganset Tall Boys for $2.50.
: easy, free parking on the street.
Rock club atmosphere in an old Firehouse. GA, about 10 rows of folding chairs were set up.
Capacity: not sure, probably 200 or so. About 1/2 full

Set List: (72min) Beggar in the Morning, Gone, Old Mythologies, Give the Devil Back His Heart, Ooh Belle, The Devil's Harp, Lord I Just Can't Keep From Crying, Sarah Through the Wall, If You Leave Me, Cloud

E: (13min)Deacon's Son, Let There Be Horses

Sep 20, 2010

Modest Mouse has Everything Down to a Science

So I saw Modest Mouse back in July at the House of Blues in Boston. It was awesome. No more Johnny Marr but the boys still sound great. Set lists are changed for every show and it seem like they are playing equally from all of their catalog. Since it was so long ago and I have 3 other “reviews” to post soon I'm just going to leave you with this set list and some videos (follow the set list links) I found on Youtube. In case you were wondering, Modest Mouse is alive and well and are finally a legit live act.

Opener/s: Morning Teleportation
Venue Info:
beer sitch: $6 PBRs, ugh
free parking is available around the venue easily unless the Sox are playing. Fenway is literally across the street.
square, club type room with GA floor and 1st balcony, seats in 2nd blacony
2,425 (sold out)

7/25/10 Show: Missed The Boat, Paper Thin Walls, Never Ending Math Equation, Autumn Beds, We've Got Everything, Float On, Dramamine*, Bukowski, Tiny Cities Made Of Ashes, The View, Blame It On The Tetons, Out Of Gas, Here It Comes, Black Cadillacs, Shit Luck, Parting Of The Sensory

Encore: Satin In A Coffin, Gravity Rides Everything, Trucker's Atlas, Spitting Venom

* with “Life Like Weeds” tease

Sep 17, 2010

Dr. Dog - Shadow People video

I love that bands still make videos now that MTV is a shitty reality tv show channel for 12-year-olds. The internet is the new music television. Dr. Dog are a band that never cease to amaze me. Yes, you can accuse them of sounding a lot like themselves but that has to do with the formula they've perfected and the analog recording equipment they use. Their albums are all quality beginning to end and their shows are tight, fun and energetic as hell. The band is on tour in support of their latest album Shame Shame, you can check out tourdates HERE. In the meantime watch the video for "Shadow People".