Friday, July 15, 2011

Last Summer, last night

A few days ago I wrote about the new Eleanor Friedberger album Last Summer that, contrary to the title, just came out this summer. Last night I was able to check out Eleanor play solo at the Lizard Lounge in Cambridge, MA for 45 or so minutes. The performance was in sharp contrast to the last time I saw her and her brother play as The Fiery Furnaces in 2006. With just her on the stage (if you want to call it a stage - the picture above was taken from the table I was sitting at about seven feet away from her, with no step up to the "stage," which was really just a carpeted section of the lounge) the selections were obviously stripped down. Also unlike the previous time, on this occasion, by herself, Eleanor was awkwardly enchanting in her own way, which perhaps explains my previous impression of her. She's been a musician for a while now, but it was clear that she felt out of her own trying to singularly interact with the crowd, which is incredibly revealing and intimate, when you think about it. My appreciation for her increased.

While only playing for 45 minutes or so, Eleanor managed to work through a rather wide range of tunes, both her own (from this new album - I Won't Fall Apart on You Tonight (which she opened with), My Mistakes, Early Earthquake, Scenes from Bensonhurst, Heaven and some even newer songs not on the album) as well as Furnaces' songs (from as far back as Gallowsbird's Bark - Tropical-Iceland, Bitter Tea - Police Sweater Blood Vow, and their latest, I'm Going Away - Staring At The Steeple and Lost at Sea). She stumbled a few times while playing her new songs, but considering she's just hit the road in support of an album that came out days ago, that's to be understood. The time flew by all too quickly, with mention of a return visit soon with her brother and band. She also has some remaining solo dates coming up which you can find below. I'll be looking forward to seeing her again, with memories of the first time assuaged.

The Fiery Furnaces - Police Sweater Blood Vow : Session Planet Claire 05-04-06 (studio version appears on Bitter Tea)

Visit her website and her label Merge Records.
Upcoming tour dates
Sat, Jul 16, New York, NY @ South Street Seaport - The Village Voice / 4knots Festival
Tue, Jul 19, Toronto, ON @ Horseshoe Tavern
Wed, Jul 20, Chicago IL @ The Hideout
Sat, Jul 23, Portland, OR @ Neumo's Crystal Ball - Capitol Hill Block Party
Sun, Jul 24,Seattle, WA @ Doug Fir Lounge
Tue, Jul 26, San Francisco, CA @ Hotel Utah Saloon
Wed, Jul 27, Los Angeles, CA @ The Satellite 

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