Thursday, June 21, 2007

Horse Feathers @ The Skinny Pancake 6/19/07

horsefeathers, tonight. The name hit familiar when I received an email with that title from a friend in Albany. But why familiar, I couldn't place it. The email was an urgent call for me to make their show that night at a brand new spot in Burlington. The friend had just seen them the night before and couldn't contain his excitement: I must say, their current live incarnation is fucking beautiful and i HIGHLY recommend trying to do everything you can to get to the show tonight. It wasn't until after dinner that I got a chance to take a listen to their sound. As soon as the first line was out of the lead's mouth it all came together: Horse Feathers. Last summer I came across a couple tracks of theirs - even blogged them. I took a mental note to check out their disc when it was to be released, but it got lost in the ether.

I quickly called a friend and we raced out the door, barreling up the interstate - making the 40 mile trip in record time. The Skinny Pancake is a sort of a hipster creperie located in the basement of the beautiful new building overlooking Burlington's waterfront. It was their opening night. The shop is tasteful, clean, and rustic with a variety of crepes (even a couple tasty looking desert ones) and handful of fine brews on tap (Switchback, my favorite!). The place was fairly packed, reaching about 60 people at the high point of the show - primarily UVM students detoxing from their freshman Phishead days. In any event it was a pretty ballsy way to open a restaurant.

After a backpacker guitar wielding opener (in turquoise shorts and sandals to boot), the three members of Horse Feathers took to the small riser in the corner. Immediately they grabbed the attention of the audience - swooning harmonies, dancing banjo, weeping cello, tender lyrics. My previous impression of Iron & Wine still held true, but I couldn't shake the Will Oldham feeling I had (was it the fact that the lead, Peter Broderick, looks a bit like an Elvish Oldham?). To round it out I was reminded of Broderick's other PDX based group, Norflok & Western.

The next morning I found myself looking at the band's upcoming tour dates thinking, who the heck do I know in Baltimore, I need to send out an email!

Horse Feathers - Hardwood Pews.mp3
Horse Feathers - Blood on the Snow.mp3

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