Endless Harmony… [and harmonizing!]

14 Jun

I’ve got to do a little catch-up. I really should have started this blog a couple of months ago when I started venturing out of the house and into places that made my ear drums really happy. So, armed with my iCal, a memory that tries its best to be reliable, and a big mug of vanilla rooibos tea (side note: Mma Ramotswe from “The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency “was right, it really DOES make everything better) I’m going to start at the beginning, or a beginning…

May 18. United Palace Theatre. Fleet Foxes. These guys gave the performance that made me want to start a blog. After listening to their concert, I didn’t feel it was enough just gushing about it to my friends, family, and random by-passers on the street- I needed a bigger platform to discuss how beautiful my experience was. The seed was planted, and today I finally get the opportunity to tell you all that I thought about it…

Here goes…


Hmmm, I could have sworn I had more thoughts on the matter, but that seems to cover my sentiments pretty accurately.

Oh FINE, I guess I can try to elaborate:

-I am a bass clarinet player, and because of this I love songs that feature bass clarinet in them (So I bet you’re thinking that I love, love, love “When I’m Sixty Four”, but in fact I almost hate that song. It always makes me sad because John Lennon never actually got to live to 64, so I rarely listen to it.)- and OH BABY do I love “The Shrine / An Argument! That part where the beanit-wearing Fox squeaks his heart out? So avant garde! So unexpected! So crazy how he can make a squeaking instrument sound good- why couldn’t I do that in middle school band class?!

-The encore. For the first song, “Oliver James”, the lead singer came out by himself and belted like the animal he is. It takes skill to be alone on a stage and captivated thousands of people- even the hecklers paused for a moment.

-The drummer. He really needs his own podcast or something, he was a riot. In between numbers he would start stream-of-consciousness talking about chairs, equipment, and really whatever his synapses were feeling at that moment.

-I liked that in an age of auto-tuning and talentless hacks blessed with tech skills to fool the masses into thinking they have chops, a group of long-haired guys who know how to play all the instruments featured in their songs can bring a house (or to be more accurate, a restored church) down with their harmonizing. “Battery Kinzie”, “Montezuma”, most other songs in their catalog… beautiful. And even MORE beautiful live. I first found out about Fleet Foxes from their Daytrotter session, and for a while those four or so songs were the only bits I’d heard of these guys. That raw, live version of “White Winter Hymnal” blew me away, and I still like it better than the studio version.

One of the reasons I go to concerts is to get a take on my favorite music that ear buds and jewel cases can’t give me. I’m a very visual person so I like to see exactly who plays what instrument, what instruments are in fact featured in different songs, how much drummers look like Animal from the Muppets (the more the better, and Arcade Fire’s drummer is in the forefront thus far), etc. Even though the ticket cost more money than I’d usually like to fork over for a concert, I knew it would be a good investment because these guys are meant to be heard live. They really are.

PS I was actually going to name my blog “Ship Sharks” as a little play on Fleet Foxes’ name, but I was worried that no one would make the connection or find it funny besides me. :)

Currently listening to: The Strokes, duh- I told you I was on a kick

One Response to “Endless Harmony… [and harmonizing!]”


  1. Stoked… (Bon Iver at United Palace Theater Concert Review) « Blog Only Knows - August 14, 2011

    […] been to the United Palace Theater once before for Fleet Foxes earlier this summer, but I was just as in awe at the venue’s beautiful murals, stained glass, and architecture. […]

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