Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Behind the Music with Pete and J...

"I was terrified.  Actually, I wasn't terrified until I met you."
-Pete, of Brooklyn band Pete and J, talking about J

Read the story of Pete and J, excerpted from an interview at the Second Sundays Series at Rockwood Music Hall:

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Leah Siegel Lets It All Out

Brooklyn singer Leah Siegel knows how to draw a crowd.  At the Living Room on February 6, the room was filled beyond capacity with Leah-fans, old and new.  The set started late (much to her apologies) as they waited for Steve Elliot, the guitarist, to arrive (he was, as she promised, well worth the wait).   
Leah is a rockstar, in the most unconventional, charming and humble way.  She cradles the lyrics of her songs, and you can sense the emotion they illicit as they roll off her tongue.  Everything about her music, in fact, is dictated by her emotion: from her volume, to her pitch to her tempo.  It is music that moves you, both physically, as well as emotionally.  Every note pulls you in closer, as her voice soars delicately to the top of her range, or she throws back her head and opens her mouth, releasing a sound so powerful and resonant that everything else seems to disappear.
Her band is no less talented or innovative.  Especially Elliot, who, in one song, picked up a bow which he ran across the strings of his electric guitar during a particularly striking solo.  That was unique in and of itself, but also because it is about the only thing that could steal attention away from Leah.   
Check her out for yourself, before her rockstar-dom makes her shows too hard to see.  It's already getting to be a tight squeeze at the Living Room...
Photo from a previous show at the Living Room; posted on artist's Myspace

Get on this PAPER ROUTE

In one of those sets that flashes by, ending prematurely, the Nashville band Paper Route set the bar high as an opening act for the new Indie-wonder-band, Passion Pit, at the Bowery Ballroom on February 4th.  They played back to back songs, with little time wasted on chitchat, and their energy was both thrilling and infectious.  Their performance was so impressive, in fact, that they not only worked up the crowd for Passion Pit (which is the mark of any strong opening act), but also built up the expectations.  Could the headliners top their opening act?  (They did, but it was close).  The dramatic energy of Paper Route's performance was accented perfectly by their last moment on stage:  the lead singer, in his small bowler hat, shoved the microphone away triumphantly while the last notes of the song lingered in the air.  The image lasted longer than the band, for as soon as the microphone stand returned to its upright position, the musicians were gone, leaving the audience in breathless awe.
Photo by Brandon Chesbro, from the band's Myspace