Saturday, February 27, 2010

The 1-2 Punch (and Laura)

The month of March opens with two of my personal faves at The Cedar. On Monday the first, those Punch Brothers return (in fact, they will be blanketing the region, with shows after us in La Crosse, Madison, Milwaukee, Platteville and Chicago). You may recall I previously posted about these guys when I saw them in New York last month. And I would put them up with my good friends Väsen among the very best acoustic ensembles in the world today. What sets the Punch boys apart is the full breadth of the music they play. Their original compositions defy categorization, and they've been know to play arrangements of J.S. Bach to Radiohead, even in the same set.

This is one of those bands that is so good- where all of the individual musicians are virtuosic talents, yet the whole is still greater than the rather large sum of the parts, that no music lover should ever miss an opportunity to see them. Mandolinist (and singer) extraordinaire Chris Thile, still best known as a founding member of Nickel Creek, is high in demand as a session player and general great guy to work with. So while this is this band's fourth Cedar appearance in three years (the first time as "Chris Thile's How To Build A Band"), don't take seeing them for granted!

Here's a brand new YouTube video of a new song we're likely to here on Monday:
(To see the full screen you'll have to go to this link).

We can reasonably call the following night's show Laura Veirs "Plus"... "plus" being the two opening acts, also Northwest-based acoustic folks worth hearing, The Old Believers and Cataldo. "Plus" also being Laura's own band, Hall of Flames, and although this is Laura's third visit to The Cedar, it will be her first with a band. And finally, "plus" because Laura is about 7.5 months pregnant!

Her new album, July Flame has already been called "the best album of 2010" by The Decemberists' Colin Meloy, which when I think about it, is hard to argue with (although it is only the end of February, after all...

* * * *

I've finished my first complete pass through the enormous SXSW A through Z Showcase List and I'm now down to a more manageable list of about 300 bands to choose from. Next step: a more detailed and discriminating pass, plus filtering by venue and logistics. But I'm very much taking suggestions, and eagerly awaiting the annual All Songs Considered program where their staff goes through their own SXSW picks. Maybe next week I'll start posting promising discoveries that I hope to check out in Austin. But please, anyone out there, check the list yourself and send along your suggestions!

1 comment:

假日的 said...

Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.............................................