Friday, April 2, 2010

The Walkmen

Finished off my busy live music week with The Walkmen at the Bell House last night. I wouldn't say that that was necessarily another case of liking a band a lot more live than on the record; I liked their latest album "You & Me" when it came out and I've been listening to it the last few days and got more into it. But they are definitely a great live experience. The frontman, Hamilton Leithauser, has crazy stage presence and an amazing voice; he's got this kind of Dylanesque inflection but he's got more power behind his voice. I like how low-key the band is, unpretentious, cool under-stated style; dude has his shirt tucked in, not everyone in a band has to dress like a hobo. I got the two songs I was waiting on, "In the New Year" and "Red Moon", the former about 2 songs in to the set and the latter as the closing song of the encore. Same understated vibe in the lyrics for The Walkmen; "In the New Year" he leads into one chorus by building up his voice saying "I'm just like you, I never hear the bad news" and the music crescendos off that. In "Red Moon" he sings about darkness settling all around him, you wait for more but you wind up with a minor chords and some low-key horns and you realize that it's all that needs to be said. My friends Cedric and Christina and I were talking about how their music sounds like 50s ballads mixed with indie-rock, and the occasional mariachi horns, perfect for drunken late night walks past neon lights.

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