This will be my last post for a week or so, as Christine is coming to visit from LA and it looks like she's bringing the sun with her--hooray! But I have to write about the fabulous show we went to on Monday night. Sondre Lerche and The Faces Down played at the Crocodile Cafe, the first time he's headlined Seattle since 2004. (In between he opened for Elvis Costello at the Paramount, but it was just him and his guitar.) I have a soft spot for Sondre because Larry took me to that 2004 show on our first date. So of course I would love him just for being a part of our history, but in addition to that he is one of the best pop singers playing nowadays. His music is so catchy, the rhythm is tight, there are interesting little twists and turns in each song, and did I mention the brilliant lyrics? Like these: Just like in that old movie about Carlotta's spell /I feel obsessed like Scottie felt/ minus the drama and the fraud /I hope I got to get into her way /Out of my way. Truly, he's fantastic.
Now, Sondre's albums are great on their own, but nothing can really compare to seeing him live--especially when he plays with The Faces Down. Morten (bass), Kato (guitar) and Ole (drums) are the most entertaining band I've seen recently. Maybe those Norwegians know something the rest of us don't, because the 4 of them together had soooo much fun onstage Monday night that it was contagious. I found myself grinning like an idiot through most of the show because it was just so fun to watch their antics. They weren't even antics, really; you could just tell they were having a good time. It's refreshing to see a band so lacking in pretension. That's not to say they don't take their music seriously, because they're all obviously very accomplished on their respective instruments. During Monday's show we were treated to several mini jam sessions within individual songs, which is often the best part of going to see live music. You won't hear anything like that just by putting a CD in the stereo. It was especially fascinating to hear them, after having jammed for a few minutes, bring it back around and return to the song. Lots of bands do this, but few do it so well.
We missed the opening act, but I really liked the second singer Willy Mason. He's got a Johnny Cash, Mason Jennings kind of sound and his voice is really quite hypnotic. I felt bad for him because he was sick, but in my opinion it just added to his charm because it enhanced the bluesy, scratchy quality of his voice. I'm definitely going to be adding his album to our collection.
Interestingly enough given my last post, Sondre's playing The Waiting Room in Omaha tonight. Seriously, when did Omaha get so cool?
Update: The Omaha show has been cancelled because they're stuck in a snowstorm. See, this is why I live on the west coast.