There’s a rumor conspiracy theory floating around the “offices” (a loose collection of individual bedrooms, coffee shops and Abbey’s house) of Sound on the Sound that North of Northwest columnist and photographer Brittney Bush Bollay is actually Sharon Van Etten. I can’t confirm or deny these rumors because I have never seen both women in the same place at the same time. What I can confirm is that Sharon Van Etten will be gracing the Neptune Theater stage tonight. Now whether or not Brittney will be in the same room while all this is happening remains to be seen.
After a few sun-filled days in the Emerald City, it’s only fitting that Mrs. Van Etten would come steamrolling into our hilly metropolis, commanding an arsenal of songs that reminding us of what it’s like to see rain cascading down our bedroom windows. Gentle readers, I think you’re letting all this vitamin D go to your head. You need to be brought down a couple of notches before you achieve megalomaniacal status. Remember who you really are. You’re someone who avoids eye contact, someone who doesn’t know how to interact with strangers, someone who hates pulling over at rest stops because you know they don’t have a french press. Don’t spend too much time fretting over this identity crisis, Mrs. Van Etten is here to exhume your internalized melancholy and transpose it over your “sunny” disposition. I mean, after all, don’t you think it’s kind of weird that a big star in outer space has this much control over you?
I’ve spent the last few days listening to tracks from Tramp (When I haven’t been boogeying to ASAP Rocky, I be that pretty motherfucker…) and I think tonight’s concert will go swimmingly. The Neptune Theater is arguably the best venue in town that Van Etten could possibly be showcasing her talents. “Give Out” reminds me of what it’s like to see someone you love walk out of your life. It’s not the fact that something you and someone else had once cherished has suddenly been rendered obsolete. What hurts is that neither one of you can explain why (funny how love is like upgrading or buying a computer). ”Serpents” reminds me of Elliott Smith in terms of the simplicity of its chord structure. This could also prove to be a completely faulty statement because I’m not an Elliott Smith fan, (Hey, don’t look at me like that!) but I am a fan of this particular song. “Joke or a Lie” is the kind of song that makes you want to grab an instrument and stay at home on a Saturday night. How do I know? Because I listened to this song over and over last night in an attempt to keep myself from skipping out to the Moon Temple. Needless to say, I feel like crap this morning….
The concert starts at 8pm. Opening up the show is The War on Drugs. I can promise you the band is more enjoyable and efficient than our government policy. What I can’t promise you is that any members of Wye Oak, The National or Beirut will be accompanying Van Etten on-stage and helping her perform any of the material in which they appear on Tramp.