Sunday, June 15, 2008

we saw: Sera Cahoone & Grand Archives

"Another Saturday Night And I Ain't Got Nobody"
I arrived at Union Hall just in time to grab a drink and catch Sera Cahoone's first song. From the start things sounded great and the live interpretations of songs from this years fantastic Only As The Day Is Long sounded as good, if not better than on record. Her band was tight, fleshing out rainy day country folk with elegance and restraint. The weeping of the pedal steel and the charming backwoods melodies of the banjo, coupled with Cahoone's smokey voice and heart-broken (but not devastated) lyrics made the basement of Union Hall feel more like a porch or bon fire affair than a packed gig in a Park Slope bar. I can't possibly emphasize how immaculate Cahoone's band sounded, except by saying that they were spot-on, every note delivered with reverence and grace. Stunning. (And yes my crush on Ms. Cahoone is now a mega-crush.)

Setlist: You Might As Well/ Last Time/ Only As The Day Is Long/ Runnin' Your Way/ Baker Lake/ The Colder The Air/ Shitty Hotel/ Couch Song/ Happy When I'm Gone/ Delta Dawn (Tanya Tucker cover w/ Grand Archives)

After Cahoone left the stage, former bandmate and collaborator Mat Brooke brought his Grand Archives to the Union Hall stage. The band, a scruffy group of vocal pop and atmospheric '60s California pop revivalists, played most of the tracks from their debut LP, as well as a couple covers, including Sam Cooke's lonely weekend anthem "Another Saturday Night." I've been patiently waiting Grand Archives New York debut since they released their original demos 16 months ago and last night was a culmination of over-playing demos, pre-ordering LP's and being inherently happy that the Grand Archives exist. Their classic retro pop was the perfect match to Cahoone's weeping folk, and the bands fabled 4-part harmonies lived up to all the praise they've received. The band seemed at home on the dimly lit stage, exchanging slacker banter with the crowd and bringing a little bit of Seattle comfort to Brooklyn.

Set List: Miniature Birds/ Louis Riel/ Index Moon/ New Song/ Swan Matches/A Setting Sun/ Sleep Driving/ Torn Blue Foam Couch/ Liberty Bell/ Another Saturday Night (Sam Cooke)/ George Kaminski/ Sundown (Gordon Lightfoot)/ The Crime Window/ Southern Glass Home

Sera Cahoone- Couch Song

Grand Archives- Miniature Birds

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