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Last Friday I went to see Melissa Ferrick and Erin McKeown at Neumos. I hadn't planned on attending this show (which is why I'm calling it a bonus concert for May), but I found myself bored and dreading the prospect of sitting around at home wasting time on the Internet all evening, so I decided I had to get out. That said, attending this show wasn't a desperate take-my-chances action. I've known of Melissa Ferrick ever since my friend Jason (parkbenchzine) saw her breakout performance as a last-minute opening act for Morrissey in 1991. Although I've never been her biggest fan, as Jason is, and haven't collected her albums, I do like her work and I've seen her a couple times in the past. So it was a pretty safe bet that I'd enjoy the show.

First though was Erin McKeown, an artist I'd heard of but didn't know. McKeown is a singer-songwriter of the folk-punk variety, and most of her set was just her and her guitar. She was also joined by Ferrick's keyboardist on one song, and Ferrick herself came out to play some drums on McKeown's last song. McKeown was a competent guitarist with a good voice and a charming, earnest manner, telling the audience stories about some of the songs... and I was indifferent to her throughout. Her style just isn't one I usually care much about, and neither her music nor her performance won me over. She's not bad, however, and I can certainly understand why she has fervent fans, quite a few of whom were in the audience.

Melissa Ferrick is also a folk-rock singer-songwriter, primarily a guitarist; she was on tour with Julie Wolf on keyboards and Daren Hahn on drums. She had a fourth musician on backing vocals and violin for a few songs, a woman she referred to (good-spiritedly) only as "Bitch" - presumably Ferrick's girlfriend, but unfortunately I don't know her proper name. As I said earlier, I've known about Ferrick for years and have seen her perform before, but I only own her first album and a couple songs from her second, so all of the music she performed was as new to me as McKeown's. However, I found Ferrick more engaging and her music more enjoyable despite its unfamiliarity. No doubt it helped that most of her set was more rock than folk; she did a solo set of four or five songs in the middle, but with her fierce guitar playing even some of those were on the rock side. One of those solo songs showcased her abilities to both sing and play guitar both very fast and very articulately, which was quite impressive. Ferrick pulled out the stops for her last few songs, bringing out McKeown for additional guitar and vocals, and even playing horn. My only complaint was with her encore, a comically-upbeat cover of "Ring of Fire" sung by McKeown with Ferrick on horn and backing vocals, Wolf on accordion, and "Bitch" on keyboards (and Hahn on drums still); and my complaint is simply that the damn song was stuck in my head for days afterward. In all, it was a very good show, and I was glad I went.



As I mentioned in my last review, Beehive are having a CD-release show on May 26th at High Dive, with The Fading Collection and Theory In Motion also on the bill. I will certainly be there. After that, June is looking to have several good possibilities. Of course, The Police are on tour for the first time in 17 years, playing two nights here in Seattle; also of course, both shows were sold out long before I even learned they were on tour. Mary Timony and Welcome are playing at The Crocodile on June 3. Zoe Keating, formerly of Rasputina, is at the Rendezvous on June 4. Laura Veirs is at The Triple Door on June 8; I've liked what I've been hearing of her music on KEXP. Sky Cries Mary and The Fading Collection are at Neumos on June 15; also on the 15th, as part of the Seattle International Film Festival, Kinski are playing a live original score to the 1927 German film "Berlin: Symphony of a City", at The Triple Door. Hmm, they're doing two shows of that, one at 7 and one at 9:30; perhaps if I go to the 7 pm show I can still catch Sky Cries Mary at Neumos too... Feist is playing the Moore Theatre on June 24; she's also caught my attention on KEXP. Finally, bookending June with another punk/new wave flashback, The Tubes (?!) are playing The Triple Door on June 29. I had no idea they were still together, much less that they've continued to put out new albums as recently as 2005. The blurb on the Triple Door's site is making me seriously consider catching this show...


Comments

( 5 have written — Write )
(Anonymous)
May. 18th, 2007 11:53 am (UTC)
If you're taking recommendations, I'd suggest Feist.
mrcl
May. 18th, 2007 11:55 am (UTC)
(That was me recommending Feist - sorry I thought I was logged in.)
parkbenchzine
May. 18th, 2007 12:27 pm (UTC)
very glad you went to see melissa. it is all about her Guitar playing. its sick!
philaros
May. 19th, 2007 02:07 am (UTC)
I just realized, I can't go to Feist. Not only will Doug be in town, but also that's the last day of Go Play NW. Sure the concert's in the evening, but I rather expect it's just not going to fit in.
(Anonymous)
May. 19th, 2007 06:17 pm (UTC)
doug is visiting for the gaming thing? wow, thats great. good for him.
( 5 have written — Write )

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