Arcata Eye Scene

A-town art, music, theatre. Mostly music. Updated Wednesdays.

Josh Duke: Bonus Tracks – July 8, 2008

I know you all think I’m a hater. I know you all think I‘m some kind of sour-puss that hates on everybody that isn’t in Strix Vega. Believe it or not, there are a few bands that I am impressed by. Not only is it rare for me to be impressed by a band, but rarer still is it for me to admit that they do. Saturday night I went to Mosgo’s with the lowest of expectations, not holding my breath for anything exciting.

Brown Bird and Annie Palmer gave our evening a gentle push, seamlessly bringing together two sets performed in tandem as they alternated in turn whose song was to be played. David Lamb, playing under the unassuming-yet-lackluster moniker Brown Bird, gave us a melancholy and heartfelt performance.

Reminiscent of a variety of folk/indie acts Iron & Wine to M. Ward to Spritualized, Brown Bird gave us a lingering heartache for unsaid tragedies, and a sense of ennui that demands for an overcast day.

Annie Palmer also tugged at the heartstrings, serenading us away in a Hope Sandoval kind of way, adding a little twang for good measure. Armed with a banjo, Annie was in step with the themes of Brown Bird, giving us a more feminine feel to why we should all be awkwardly depressed.

Oozing buckets of Americana sensibilities, both Annie and David complimented and accompanied each other in a way that made our sparse gathering a little misty when they stopped.

Almost in an anti-climactic fashion, The Beat Nun took the stage, continuing the vein of dreary folk numbers that had already sapped our emotions from the previous act. There wasn’t anything there that particularly I disliked; I mean really, how can you hate somebody that plays the saw? Compared to their recorded material, which is very well produced and way too much like Cat Power for me to feel comfortable owning both, their live set was raw and a tad choppy, especially when pitted against their opening act. The eclectic mess of instruments (kazoo, toy piano, singing saw) made for cute gimmickery that kept things slightly engaging, but for all their neat ideas, I still found myself consistently staring at my watch.

This was definitely a show that belonged in a coffee shop, which is good, as that’s what Mosgo’s is. I have to admit, were I in anything but a plush sofa, I’d be a little hard pressed to stick around. Despite any feelings of disappointment I had toward the end, it’d be nice to have Brown Bird and Annie come through town again.

But maybe I’m just deluding myself. Maybe because I saw something that wasn’t a Death Metal show this week contributed to why I liked this show so much more. Guess I’ll let you know if I’m still listening to their CD in a week or so.

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