Bright Eyes goes Hollywood; Black Mountain/Cave Singers, Far Beyond Frail tonight…

Category: Blog — @ 11:50 am October 1, 2007

My weekend plans were stymied by a bad hotdog acquired at a Fort Calhoun high school football game Friday night. I’m not kidding. Always be wary of hand-consumed food prepared at crowded gatherings in farm communities, brought to you from a “back room” by your former typing teacher. I didn’t see much hand-washing going on by the food-prep kids, most of whom looked like VICA volunteers. I should have known better.

A couple headlines to start off your week, specifically reviews of Bright Eyes’ performance with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl Saturday night. The Los Angeles Times review (read it here) makes it sound like the orchestra didn’t add much to the festivities: “Mostly, however, he (Oberst) remained unengaged with the talented troupe behind him. He turned around at one point and shouted, ‘You still awake up there?’ Then after they had departed, he made a comment about their ‘lemon-sucking faces.’” Huh? The Orange County Register review was even more critical (read it here): “Saturday’s hit-and-miss stab had as much to do with Oberst’s players as himself. Keysman Nate Walcott, for instance, had the task of arranging this material, primarily from the group’s latest disc… More than Oberst, Walcott deserves credit for both the marvelous moments and the misfires, while the less-than-dynamic, sometimes lead-footed band should shoulder some of the blame for the spotty bits.” While playing with the LA Philharmonic is something of an achievement for Bright Eyes (or for any pop band, for that matter), it’s time that Conor gets rid of all the choirs and orchestras and dual drummers and gets back to fronting a plain ol’ folk-rock band.

I’ve been listening to the new Cave Singers disc off and on for about a month now. Not reading the one sheet, I thought the lead singer was a woman doing a Stevie Nicks impersonation. In fact, it’s a guy doing a Stevie Nicks impersonation. The Seattle trio is sort of Matador’s answer to Two Gallants, but with a more varied folk-rock style (and shorter songs). Black Mountain is Stephen McBean’s primary experimental psychedelic freak-out indie rock project (he came through here last year as Pink Mountaintops, remember?). The music is sort of Black Sabbath meets Syd-era Pink Floyd. Their last album — their groovy debut on Jagjaguwar — came out two years ago, which means it’s time for something new, which I assume we’ll be treated to tonight at The Waiting Room. $8, 9 p.m.

Also tonight, just down the street at PS Collective, Kansas City duo Far Beyond Frail plays their style of Lillith Fair female-fronted adult contemporary pop. Opening is Omaha keyboard-and-drums duo Shiver Shiver. $5, 9 p.m.

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