Posts Tagged ‘bon iver’

Laura Barton put me onto this clip. Beautiful.

An atheist’s religious experience

Posted: June 3, 2008 in Uncategorized

This is an attempt to explain Bon Iver’s gig last night in Tripod (moved from an overbooked Crawdaddy, apparently). Just an attempt.
When I was a kid, Christmas Day was probably my favourite day of the year. To be honest, it probably still is. I love Christmas, but I’ll come back to that in a later post.
I usually woke first (I don’t think I ever slept soundly on Christmas Eve) and I would sneak out of my room and go to wake my little sister. We would then creep quietly down the stairs of our Galway house, usually this was at about 4 or 5 in the morning. Cracking open the sitting room door, the image that stays with me to this day is the shimmery and shiny glow of whatever presents Mr Claus had left out for us, in the same old chairs every year. That feeling in my stomach of innocent, undiluted happiness/giddiness/excitement is a difficult feeling to recapture but by Jesus it happened last night, at the best live performance I have ever seen.
Justin Vernon performs as Bon Iver alongside Mike Noyce and Sean Carey and after two abysmal support acts, they arrived onstage at around 10pm. I had received an email earlier about the gig being moved to Tripod and had been fairly pissed off about it. ‘Crawdaddy would have been perfect’ was what I proclaimed to anyone that would listen but to be fair Tripod was nicely organised with a floor full of tables and a nicely lit auditorium. Vernon set himself up to the right of the stage with an electric guitar. Erk, I thought, but I needn’t have worried.
His album, For Emma Forever Ago, was played in its entirety (with the order of the two concluding songs reversed) with nearly every song being tweaked and played with, solos inserted, guitar/percussion loudness-factor added and vocals amplified hugely. It worked amazingly well.
Other acts change their songs for touring and end up making a balls of them but this was absolutely different. Attempting to translate the delicacy and fragility of the album would have been a mistake and so new beasts were necessarily created. Vernon’s voice hit every note but had a power that I had not expected. The added electric guitar and occasionally booming percussion complemented the songs perfectly and never washed out the plaintive voices of both Justin and Mike, the latter proving himself brilliantly on guitar and singing duties.
That Christmas giddiness stayed with me from the opening note to the final standing ovation and when Vernon did Re: Stacks on his own, you could have heard a pin drop in the loudest silence I’ll ever hear. He had organised a singalong earlier for The Wolves which everyone joined in with, not a hint of shyness to be found in the room. His dry wit relaxed everyone in the middle of what are some very personal songs and finding out he had spent four months living in my hometown of Galway in 2003, selling mobile phones, just seemed to personalise the gig even more.
I blogged about him when I first started There Will Be Blog this year and it was thanks to a piece by Laura Barton (one of The Guardian’s finest and most passionate writers) that I discovered Bon Iver when I did. It’s a masterpiece and an album I’ve probably listened to every day since I first got it. The National’s Whelans gig was amazing. When I saw NOFX in the Redbox, I had a nostalgia overload. Bonnie Prince Billy, Final Fantasy, Jeff Tweedy – all were amazing. But Bon Iver eclipses all these gigs and for that I thank them..him…you know what I mean.

Events have been conspiring against posting on this blog for a while. The laptop is officially riddled with an assortment of viruses/spyware/adware/underwear and keeping the internet connection alive long enough to do anything at all is proving incredibly difficult. Is it possible to leave it in somewhere to be ‘cleansed’?
Anyway, the new patio/garden is working out well with all this bank holiday weekend sunshine, so evenings have been blending into days as the wine flows, the sun shines and Ease Down The Road plays in the background.
Guitar Hero is now up and running on the borrowed PS3. It’s unreal and amazingly addictive as Jaysus..
Tomorrow will be Bon Iver in Crawdaddy, a venue I would have chosen above any to see him play. M. Ward and Cadence Weapon have been highlights for me in Crawdaddy and I reckon it could be perfect for Bon Iver too.
Enjoy the rest of the sun, my friends. And if you are not going to the gig tomorrow, you should be. Adios.

Bloggy Prince Billy

Posted: May 25, 2008 in Uncategorized
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Sorry for yet another bad pun in the title but I’m starting to get into the habit of it now and it’s become a personal competition to try and insert the worst imaginable puns/gags into that little title space.
Got the new BPB album and it’s great; really growing on me by the day. I’ve found his music comforting/intriguing/genius over the years and he’s one of those artists who instantly chills me out and gives me that feeling of familiarity and, well, happiness I suppose. Even on the the darker tracks. Upcoming gigs are Times New Viking tomorrow night, supported by Giveamanakick, and Bon Iver is not too far away either. Obviously, Bonnie Prince Billy is playing as part of the Future Days festival so that’s going to be incroyable.
On a personal note, I’ve just moved into a deadly little cottage near town with m’ladyfriend and so far it’s going brilliantly. Nice to have a bit of space and even a garden-type area thingy. I was egging to play Guitar Hero at our recent house-warming but we couldn’t get the bloody thing to work. Anyone know anything about PS3s? Let me know. I was primed to rock out too…
On the plus side, one of our guests was a bit of a headcase and developed a highly amusing drunken miaowing tic that he lapsed into every so often, so that kept me well entertained. In retrospect, he may have been in the midst of some form of mental breakdown but anyway..he’s ok now.
See you in Andrews Lane Theatre tomorrow.

Bon Iver…lovely stuff

Posted: April 10, 2008 in Uncategorized
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This is what we’re in for in June.
And I want to tell Sinead that her name for him – Bon Whingy – is not nice or true. But it’s funny.