March 29, 2012

Lincoln Barr, Bahamas, Loney Dear at Chop Suey

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Bahamas ::: photo by Brittney Bush Bollay

Red Jacket Mine lead singer Lincoln Barr opened the night with an excellent set. Performing solo but commanding the stage, his swagger and playing style hinted at the influence of great rock and roll singer-songwriters like Lou Reed and Joel Plaskett, and kept the normally-chatty early crowd rapt and “unnervingly respectful.”

Bahamas maintained his reputation as Canada’s most understatedly charming performer. Most of his setlist came from his breakup-themed February release, Barchords, but even his heartbreak songs have a way of sounding like sex, and so once again the audience offered their full attention. Traveling only with two backup singers – his drummer had recently flown home to the embrace of new parenthood – Bahamas offered minimalist arrangements of his material interspersed with a dry, quiet banter that kept the mood light and the flow steady.

While playing, Loney Dear displays the intensity and fast twitch muscle movements one would expect from a man smaller than his teddy bear size. But when he speaks, he exhibits the same charming mastery of banter as Bahamas. (While not subtle, his proclamation of Seattle as the “dream city of [his] heart” certainly makes him no enemies.) His almost-one-man-band used guitar, percussion, mics, and an array of pedals – and one accordionist – to create a gently humming, atmospheric sound that served as a pleasant and appropriate closure to a delightfully low-key Saturday night.

Lincoln Barr ::: photo by Brittney Bush Bollay

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Lonely Dear ::: photo by Brittney Bush Bollay

July 7, 2008

NPR <3 Sub Pop

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Fleet Foxes at Sasquatch ::: Photo by Josh

Even NPR is getting in on the Sub Pop 20th Anniversary festivities. Yes, you read that right. Everyone’s favorite local label is getting some love from the usually socially reserved public radio outfit.

Label founder Jonathan Ponemon stopped by the other day to recount his five favorite tracks of the entire label’s history. And wouldn’t you know it, the Fleet Foxes “White Winter Hymnal” is on that list, among songs from the likes of the Vaselines and Iron and Wine.

Speaking of the Fleet Foxes (and NPR), they will be streaming a live performance today, Monday July 7, from the Black Cat in Washington DC, starting at 7pm PDT. If you haven’t yet had a chance to catch a live set by these gentlemen, this is your (virtual) chance. 7-7 at 7pm. You got it?

Other Sub Pop bands who’ve had live sets featured on NPR in the last few years include Iron and Wine, Low and Lonely, Dear and probably most notably Sleater-Kinney, who recorded a set just weeks before their previously announced indefinite hiatus in August of 2006.