Thursday, February 26, 2009

live: Sharon Van Etten @ Zebulon

"The Truth is I Have No Idea"
Bushwick-based chanteuse Sharon Van Etten brought heart-wrenching, "sad prairie folk" to Zebulon last night, which is a second home of sorts for Ms. Van Etten. Coincidentally, the show marked the celebration of Sharon's 28th year in the world, and family and friends were strewn about the audience. The show started with cuts from Ms. Van Etten's debut EP, including "I Wish I Knew", "For You" and "Consolation Prize." Before long Sharon invited friends from Motel Motel and She Keeps Bees to join her in, giving her often sparse balladry a more fleshed out sound. While the guest vocalist from She Keeps Bees didn't seem to remember her lyrics, her downtrodden hum, along with finger-picking accompaniment, wrapped Sharon's downtrodden folk in a warm haze of muddy atmospherics and gentle ooohs. Being that her EP couldn't get much more lo-fi, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that her forthcoming debut LP will (hopefully) feature the "fuller" sound we were treated to last night.

I should also mention Melanie Moser and the Eleventh Hour Band who helped open the show and brought a sort of VU/Nico-meets-Jefferson Airplane by way of Mazzy Star vibe. This band, which included a horn section and a guy playing a "zaga" (or maybe zaza? not really sure), which is some crazy cross between a banjo, a sitar and a zhonghu, would be an ideal soundtrack for a post-millenial acid test. Definitely a band to watch.

If you missed Sharon's show last night, don't worry, as she'll be playing the Arthur Magazine benefit at the Market Hotel on Saturday, and another show at Glasslands on Sunday.

Sharon Van Etten- Have You Seen
Sharon Van Etten- Consolation Prize

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