Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Jay Brannan Live

On Saturday night (which was an incredibly rainy and inhospitable evening), I had the good fortune to check out Jay Brannan play at the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton, MA. In case you didn't catch it, I featured Jay in my Sunday Spotlight feature back here in August. His debut album, Goddamned, came out in July, and honestly is one of my favorite albums of 2008. Put it this way, it's the first album in a LONG time that I've memorized (almost) all the words to (or can at least fake it). That being said, if you haven't checked out his music yet, I'd highly recommend it.

Backing up for a second, the night was opened by Gregory Douglass, who quite quickly went through a half a dozen of his songs to start the evening. About two thirds of his songs were performed by him on piano (a real one never-the-less), with the last third having him switch instruments to a guitar. I was completely unfamiliar with his music before this listen, so I can't make all that informed a recommendation for his material. It was enjoyable and certainly worth a try. Visit his MySpace page to explore his music for yourself.

After a short intermission, Jay came on stage to perform. When I reviewed the album I mentioned how intimate it came across. Well, you can imagine how hearing that same material in person felt. He opened with the opening track from his album (and the one he talked about for my Sunday Spotlight feature), Can't Have It All, and it only got better from there. Over the course of the evening, he played some other cuts from the album (including A Death Waltz, Half-Boyfriend, and the title track from the album) on both guitar and piano.

Although thoroughly enjoyable, the evening had a few highlights. After singing Bowlegged & Starving, he briefly and amusingly played a few bars from Joan Osborne's One Of Us. Then, when he played Housewife (one of my favorite tracks on the album) he sung the first verse in French. Having just got back from a short European tour, he had brushed up on his foreign language skills. Check out a video of him singing the complete song in French here on YouTube. He also played an enjoyable cover of Ani DiFranco's Both Hands in the middle of his set, and a couple non album tracks: Body's A Temple (video here) and Soda Shop (video here).

The pair are playing a handful of other dates. Check below for the list.

Jay Brannan - Can't Have It All : Goddamned

Jay Brannan - Soda Shop : Shortbus Original Movie Soundtrack

Visit his website and become his friend on MySpace.

Remaining Tour Dates

Nov 13 Orlando
Nov 15 Boulder
Nov 17 San Diego
Nov 18 San Francisco
Nov 20 Vancouver
Nov 22 Houston
Nov 23 Austin
Dec 12 New York (sold out)
Dec 14 New York

1 comment:

Any major dude with half a heart said...

Jay is great, isn't he? Goddamned is one off my albums of the year so far.

If you're interested, I interviewed him on my blog in July.