Thursday, April 10, 2008

Green with EnVy*

I started writing this post a week after the festivities and decided that even this show took place a bit ago it is definitely worthy of a please forgive timeline and put yourself back in March for a moment...

As a little girl and the youngest of two children i was raised to not ask for too much and always think of others. However human nature sometimes falls into play and you become slightly jealous of others as you grow up. Needless to say i am incredibly jealous of everyone i know who was able to make it to SXSW. Granted I am not a hot weather type of gal. I would have had to drink massive amounts of coffee and mountain dew to muster through seeing all of the shows i would have wanted to check out..and the most difficult of all tasks I would have had to try very hard NOT to be shy. Which i am. Most of the time. That being said I still would have loved to experience the musical haven that is Austin, particularly during SXSW. Last night Jaime and i trucked down to Bowery Ballroom to check out Emmy the Great and The Pigeon Detectives, equally excited for both of these UK exports. It is a ballsy move to name a band with your name and 'great' especially at the age of 24. If anyone can pull it off with grace and sophistication it is Emma Lee Moss and company.

Armed with incredible emotion and depth she sings with angst about relationships and love reaching far beyond her years of experience. Comfortable in front of a room half full with people shuffling closer and closer to hear her words she joked about how the creators of SXSW had a randy sense of humour, picking for her to perform on a bill with her ex-boyfriend out of 600 bands. While most of her songs are girlish confessions about ill-witted and fitted ex's they ring sweetly of youthful love instead of bitter resentment. Like Kate Nash, Lily Allen, Florence and the Machine and Adele, Emmy represents her country and herself with class and intelligence, so boys watch out! I will definitely be checking in with friends to see how she fares amongst the industry beasts.

This photo captures this bands' experience PERFECTLY-thank you: Emile Holba
Recently i received a comment about my overall music taste and how it is well...'pop'ish.' I immediately crinkled my nose in ultimate disgust and was stunned into silence. It is not that i consider myself a music expert, far from it! I am constantly learning about music, old and new and confess openly to not being able to carry a tune or a play an instrument, however i feel that i consider myself knowledgeable enough to recommend something to a friend or co-worker with enough vigour and strength that they will be compelled to enjoy it if not overwhelmingly convinced. Half way through the The Pigeon Detective's set it occurred to me that yes, my taste might indeed be 'popular.' Which might not be such a bad thing. Music trends as of late have taken a turn towards favoring indie and alternative music markets with Vampire Weekend not only taking over SNL but the whole of MTV. Radiohead cleaned up with it's latest release and has already been selling out tour dates left and right. Apple and Zune commercials cleverly arm themselves with songs by CSS, The Shins and The Fratellis in turn saturating radio stations with these otherwise 'little' bands. This past weekend Yeasayer and MGMT were praised with keeping the Brooklyn music scene alive causing sneering bloggers and local hipsters to laugh at The New York Times for their up-to-date reporting on our thriving music scene, something we have all been hip to for a while now, even if we try actively to avoid the hype. The Pigeon Detectives have yet to make a splash within the states. For the most part when i told my friends i was heading out to see their show they responded with a 'who' or a 'damn those indie bands and their names these days!' is another odd name but their music is rambunctious and loud, two things I LOVE from my british bands. Swinging, failing, tossing the microphone, stage diving into the audience, their lead singer Matt Bowman has obviously spent a lot of time in front of a mirror playing at being a rock star. Hello Matt, you are well on your way. Oliver Main, Ryan Wilson, Dave Best and drummer Jimmi Naylor back him up with perfection and style. The sold out audience was loving every sweat-soaked second Bowman delivered. So if pop music is just another term for what is popular then yes, i do indeed have popular taste---i am just residing on the incorrect continent to do so.
Emmy The Great-Two Steps Forward(live).mp3
Emmy The Great-MIA.mp3
Emmy The Great-Canopies and Grapes.mp3 (*my favorite*)
Emmy The Great-The Hypnotists Son.mp3 (last one-i LOVE this one as well)
Emmy the Great
Pigeon Detectives

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