Posts Tagged ‘john vecchiarelli’

REVIEW: Damien Jurado @ Mississippi Studios (Portland, OR – 2/27/10)

28th Feb 10 (Sun) 8 comments

I’ve been into Damien Jurado since the late-90s when his first Sub Pop record came out.  I’d only had a few chances to see him play live, but it never seemed to work out.  This weekend, since I was already up in Portland for the PDX Jazz Fest, I figured I could swing on over to Damien’s show at the Mississippi Studios after the Dave Holland Quintet show.

While I was “studying” for this show, I listened to Damien’s most recent album, 2008’s Caught in the Trees.  Wow.  I was reminded why I like this guy so much.  Great songwriting in an unassuming package.  Clever and gritty/lo-fi, but well crafted, melodically framed songs… quintessential indie rock.  Damien has the honesty and drive in his lyrics a la Elliott Smith and Pedro the Lion’s David Bazan.  There must be something about the Pacific Northwest that brings these things out in songwriters.

On to the show…

I got there late due to Dave Holland’s killer show across town.  John Vecchiarelli was nearing the end of his set, but I caught his last four songs.  I really liked him.  He had a genuine voice (kind of reminded me of Jeffrey Foucault).  John is from Portland; so hopefully I’ll get a chance to see him again soon.

Next up were another Portland group, The Robinsons (formerly of Viva Voce).  They were a nice indie rock / americana duo, also from Portland.  I had heard a little bit of their Viva Voce music before, but not much.  They were good, and had nice melodies.  They were a little bit folky and a little bit rocky.  I imagine a fuller band setting would suit them very well.  They played a short set (only about 30 minutes).  They have a new album coming out soon under the bank moniker Blue Giant.

Up next was Damien Jurado.  While his latest album, Caught in the Trees, was a more collaborative trio effort, this show was just Damien with a guitar and two vocal mics.  The first 5 songs were completely new, and it struck me to the genius that is Damien Jurado (song names complete guesses below).  He is a pure songwriter.  I didn’t know these songs from Adam, but they captivated me completely.  They are for an upcoming album called Saint Bartlett (out in May), and it is a collaboration between Damien and Richard Swift.

He played some older songs, as well as a few Caught in the Trees songs as well… serious help on setlist needed.  Any help?

Setlist: 80 minutes

  • Beacon Hill (aka “Return to Me”) (new)
  • Kansas City (new)
  • “I Could Float” (new)
  • Arkansas (aka “Fade Out”) (new)
  • Wherever I May Lay (aka “Finally Tasted the Dawn”) (new)
  • Abilene
  • Denton, TX
  • Ohio (false start) into “Sound of Settling” spoof of Ben Gibbard
  • Ohio (false start again, Damien couldn’t stop laughing)
  • Harborview (aka “speak for me, would you”)
  • Ohio
  • Sheets
  • Pear (new)
  • I Am Still Here
  • “Diamond Sea” (new)
  • “not the best time to fall to pieces” (song title unknown)
  • The Killer
  • Lose My Head
  • Encore: Wyoming Birds (aka “sorrow replaced our joy”) (song title unknown)
  • Caskets
  • Paperwings

I hope he continues to tour, at least in Seattle and Portland (the “quiet crowd” towns).

The Appropriate Linkage:

~Dan – np: Dave Douglas’ Brass Ecstasy – Spirit Moves

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