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REVIEW: Sarah Kirkland-Snider’s PENELOPE featuring Shara Worden & FearNoMusic @ Alberta Rose (Portland, OR – 2/2/13)

4th Feb 13 (Mon) Leave a comment

Sarah Kirkland-Snider (L) & Shara Worden (R)Ever the Shara Worden / My Brightest Diamond fanboy, I got PENELOPE – the collaboration with composer Sarah Kirkland-Snider – back when it came out in 2010.

I loved the record then… dark, light, moving, haunting, gorgeous emotions not only from Shara’s voice but also from the musical compositions.  PENELOPEPenelope is a song cycle / concept album, inspired by a journey and coming home a la Homer’s Odyssey.  Read more about it here.

Never did I think I’d have a chance to see it performed live.  I mean, I’ve seen My Brightest Diamond plenty of times, but I always thought of Penelope as a one-off – solely an album collaboration.  A very good album collaboration, but an album collaboration nonetheless.

I only found out about the one-night only show with Portland’s FearNoMusic chamber ensemble about two weeks ago, but I bought I ticket without consulting my calendar.  Luckily nothing was on my calendar… but honestly, if something had been, I would have had to change my plans anyway.

The show was as gorgeous as the record,if not more.  Quite moving and amazing to hear in the room: the strings, the horns, the woodwinds, the powerful voice.  There is a lot of pain in the words, but also a hope in starting over… blown over by the wind, turned over by the tide.  At least that’s what I take out of it.  It left me with hope.

Setlist: ~70 mins

  • The Stranger with the Face of a Man I Loved
  • This Is What You’re Like
  • The Honeyed Fruit
  • The Lotus Eaters [music video]
  • Nausicaa
  • Circe and the Hanged Man
  • I Died of Waiting
  • Home
  • Dead Friend
  • Calypso
  • And Then You Shall Be Lost Indeed
  • Open Hands
  • Baby Teeth, Bones, and Bullets
  • As He Looks Out to Sea
  • Encore: Be Brave

Shara Worden’s stunning vocal delivery was joined by FearNoMusic conducted by Katherine FitzGibbon with Inés Voglar, violin; Joël Belgique, viola; Nancy Ives, cello; Alicia Paulsen, flute; Mark Dubac, clarinet; Leander Star, French horn; Jeffrey Work, trumpet; Dan Balmer, guitar; and Sergio Carreño, drum set and percussion.

Shara kicked off her heels (literally) for the encore MBD song.  I’m glad that Shara played at least one tune from her own catalog… but honestly, it wasn’t needed.  Penelope worked on so many great levels in a live setting.

There are a few more Penelope dates scheduled… Minnesota, Indiana, and New York so far.  Check out Sarah Kirkland-Snider’s events page.

The Appropriate Linkage:

And, I promise, I’ll get my gosh-darn “Best Of 2012” list posted soon… I’m horrible this time.  The next show for me is Ben Folds Five @ Roseland (Portland) on 2/5.

~Dan – np: Tomahawk – Oddfellows
Tomahawk - Oddfellows

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REVIEW: My Brightest Diamond @ Pantages Theater (Tacoma, WA – 9/22/12)

24th Sep 12 (Mon) 3 comments

FYI… PHOTOS of the SHOW at the BOTTOM

Outside of a college football traffic-filled I-5 and a rainbow roll sushi before the show, there was no opener for My Brightest Diamond this weekend for me.  She was the first after “dinner break” act for Tacoma’s 9/22-9/23 weekend Broadway Center Free For All.  A free one-off show in the Pacific Northwest by one of my absolute favorite artists!!  Well, free outside of the time and gas money… I wasn’t going to pass this up.

Dressed in colorful balls, spikes, and pipe cleaner, My Brightest Diamond (Shara Worden) started the show by coming out in a mask and dumping two large trash bags full of bright orange balloons on the stage.

She played a short set, but hit some great high-points from her three album catalog and switched around a lot on various instruments: ukulele, keyboards, mbira, electric guitar…

Product Details Product Details Product Details

Setlist:

  • We Added It Up
  • Golden Star
  • Escape Routes
  • Be Brave
  • Apples
  • High Low Middle
  • I Have Never Loved Someone
  • Inside A Boy

Her quirkiness and fun-loving vibe shone through.  This being a free show, I’m hoping she attracted some new followers with her charms.  As far as what’s next for her?  Well, she’s bound to show up on someone’s record here, or a collaborative single there, or a remix album over there, or a new album in a bit.  She’s currently not specifically touring; so any chance she comes through your parts for a one-off show – check her out.  You shan’t be disappointed!

more photos below

The Appropriate Linkage:

Next show for me… Chevelle at Crystal Ballroom on 9/25.

~Dan – np: ChevelleThis Type Of Thinking (Could Do Us In)

My Brightest Diamond PHOTOS
all pictures (cc) 2012 Daniel Temmesfeld,
you may use freely under a creative commons attribution

(click for larger)

new music from Nellie McKay & My Brightest Diamond

22nd Mar 12 (Thu) Leave a comment

Jazzy, piano-pop songstress Nellie McKay just got done with a stint of tour dates for her death-row musical review I Want To Live! (double Oregon show review here).

Now she’s off with a new show entitled SILENT SPRING – It’s Not Nice to Fool Mother Nature, a tribute to trailblazing environmentalist, Rachel Carson (Nellie made up as Rachel to the right).

She is currently amidst her Silent Spring residency at Feinstein’s in NYC.  The show runs March 20 to 31, 2012.  No word on if Silent Spring will make it out of NYC for a tour, but this seems similar to the path that I Want To Live! took… so, who knows, maybe we’ll see Silent Spring out West in late 2012/early 2013?

Listen to Nellie’s version of the song “Rio de Lua (Moon River)” below:

Shara Worden / My Brightest Diamond has recorded a guitar-based version of “I Have Never Loved Someone” for a limited release (1000 hand-numbered copies) as a 7″ through Holland-based Nowhere Fast Records.  For the B-side, Shara has sung Leonard Cohen’sBird On A Wire” with guitar accompaniment by Marc Ribot.  The album is set for release on Record Store Day (21 April 2012), and it will be available in Europe, the UK and the US markets.

~Dan – np: Boards of CanadaMusic Has the Right to Children

Sufjan Stevens to Collaborate with Son Lux, Serengeti EP

27th Feb 12 (Mon) 1 comment

Sufjan Stevens is set to release his first set of new music since 2010’s The Age of Adz with a new project titled s/s/s. The project also includes Son Lux and the rapper Serengeti. The group’s four-track EP, which is titled Beak & Claw, is set for a March 20 release through Anticon.  (It’s available for pre-order on vinyl now.)

The six-minute track “Museum Day” features Sufjan singing Auto-Tuned lines alongside rap verses from Serengeti.

The EP features vocal contributions from Shara Worden of My Brightest Diamond on “If This Is Real“, while Doseone from Subtle & Themselves appears on the closer, “Octomom.”  Stevens and Serengeti collaborated in 2009 on a track for the Dark Was the Night compilation.

Beak & Claw Tracklist
1. Museum Day
2. Beyond Any Doubt
3. If This Is Real
4. Octomom

~Dan – np: John ZornFrom Silence to Sorcery

Favorite Concerts of 2011

27th Dec 11 (Tue) 4 comments

Well, this year was once again good to the Pacific Northwest on the concert front… 365 days, 67 shows, 132 artists, many long nights driving home, and a lot of photos…

My favorite concerts of 2011:

  1. Puscifer :: Paramount Theater :: Seattle, WA {7 Nov} [review with photos] – brilliant new album, fantastic stripped down/meets over the top tour!
  2. U2 & Lenny Kravitz :: Qwest Field :: Seattle, WA {4 Jun} [review with photos] – one of the biggest tours ever doesn’t disappoint
  3. My Brightest Diamond :: Mississippi Studios :: Portland, OR {6 Nov} [review with photos] – Shara’s gorgeous voice works well even in a solo setting
  4. Peter Mulvey :: three shows :: Eugene/Creswell/Corvallis, OR {10-12 Nov} [3-show review with photos] – yes, I’m an addict, but I can’t pass up any chance to see Peter in my neck of the woods…
  5. Godspeed You! Black Emperor :: Crystal Ballroom :: Portland, OR {18 Feb} [review, no photos] – surreal and amazing!
  6. The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger (Sean Lennon & Charlotte Kemp Muhl):: The Woods :: Portland, OR {28 Jan} [review with photos] – pure pop brilliance, Sean takes after his father…
  7. Nels Cline Singers :: Doug Fir Lounge :: Portland, OR {30 Jan} [review with photos] – avant garde guitar experimentation…
  8. Eddie Vedder (of Pearl Jam) & Glen Hansard (of The Swell Season) :: Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall :: Portland, OR {14 Jul} [review with photos] – Glen is a great singer-songwriter, and Eddie is an amazing performer (this time, mainly on ukelele)…
  9. Explosions in the Sky / MusicFest NW :: Pioneer Courthouse Square :: Portland, OR {10 Sep} [no review] – I had to scuttle from this show to a follow-up MFNW show, but this was definitely a highlight…
  10. Pomplamoose :: Doug Fir Lounge :: Portland, OR {27 Oct} [review with photos] – the youtube stars make good with a real tour… A+!
  11. Over the Rhine :: Aladdin Theater :: Portland, OR {17 Nov} [review with photos] – OTR will always be a favorite
  12. Opeth :: Roseland Theater :: Portland, OR {16 Oct} [review with photos] – no cookie monster screams, I missed them, but Opeth still doesn’t disappoint.
  13. Erik Friedlander plays John Zorn’s Masada Book Two (Book of Angels, Volume 8: Volac) :: The John G. Shedd Institute for the Arts :: Eugene, OR {8 Jan} [review with photos] – an amazing cellist playing a amazing book of melodies
  14. Toad the Wet Sprocket :: Downtown Bend Celebration :: Bend, OR {8 Jul} [review with photos] – anytime Toad or lead singer GLen Phillips are playing in my radar, I’m going!
  15. Jeffrey Foucault :: Cozmic Pizza :: Eugene, OR {20 Oct} [review with photos] – Jeffrey is quickly becoming a favorite songwriter of mine, full of grit and charm…

Runners-Up: Reptet at Luckey’s (Jan), Elton John at Matthew Knight Arena (Feb), A Perfect Circle at Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall (June), The Dead Kenny G’s at Sam Bond’s Garage (July), and Jason Webley & Mood Area 52 at WOW Hall (Oct).  Even after honorable mentions, I cut some GREAT ones… 2011 was a great year.

My favorite concert photos of 2011: (in chronological order)

(all images are free to use under a creative commons designation,
simply identify Daniel Temmesfeld with a
photo credit and link to pacificlectic.com.

Past Favorite Concerts Lists:

Favorite music of 2011 will be coming soon… EPs/DVDs/etc, vocal albums, instrumental albums

~Dan – np: Steven Bernstein’s Millennial Territory Orchestra – MTO Plays Sly

My Brightest Diamond “High Low Middle” video (#OWS)

17th Nov 11 (Thu) Leave a comment

Perhaps the new music video for “High Low Middle” from My Brightest Diamond is an unofficial theme song for the Occupy Wall Street movement (albiet unintentional – as it was in the can long before #OWS)… directed by Murat Eyuboglu, filmed in Detroit and featuring dancers from RunJitRun and Jitting Jesus:

When you’re privileged you don’t even know you’re privileged
When you’re not, you know
When you’re happy you don’t even know you’re happy
When you’re not, you know
full lyrics (link)

Fellow Detroit musician Blue Stahli makes an appearance in the video.  If he or (*gasp*) labelmate Celldweller remixed some MBD tunes, that would be RAD as HELL!  Afternoon Update: Blue Stahli responded with a “Funny you should say that…twitter reply. Nice!

More MBD Stuff:

  • There’s a 9-10 minute session with Shara/MBD on NPR’s All Things Considered right HERE.
  • Check out my 11/5 review of the MBD show at Mississippi Studios in Portland Oregon right HERE.
  • I’d also highly recommend you pick up her latest album, All Things Will Unwind… it’s right HERE (and amazing).

~Dan – np: Medeski Scofield Martin & Wood – In Case the World Changes Its Mind

MBD (Portland 11/6) photos posted…

9th Nov 11 (Wed) Leave a comment
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