Saturday, October 20, 2007

Concert review: PFMS

Last night's Portland Folkmusic Society concert was, in all honesty, wayy cooler than I had expected. I knew Jen and Aage's sets would be worth hearing- and they really are as rad as everybody is saying. I can't wait to see them again. The repertoire! The sass! The lovely timbres! And I can say I sort of know them now, so I'm, like, totally in.

The other acts were fun, too. The concert featured artists from the Rampur records label, which is basically a small folky funky hippie kind of thing as far as I can tell. The founder guy looked a lot like my uncle John, except my uncle would never sing a Janis Joplin song while accompanying himself on the mouth-bow. Imagining my uncle John as anything remotely approaching a hippie is... just wrong and it gave me the giggles during the show. I know, despite my professional musician papers, I am about four years old as an audience member.

The third act, Tricia Alexander, really surprised me. Every time she opened her mouth to speak all I could hear was Joan Cusack in one of her Minnesota accent roles.

But then she sang some blues and played the harmonica- and when some one really plays that thing, it's not just what pitches come out, it's the way they breath through it and the rhythm they make with all those little auxiliary sounds achieved with the cupped hand's angles. Some of her stuff was what I had expected- sort of preachy folk guitar driven stuff, but then! She really brought out some great deep rooty soul. If I had just found her unannounced on the radio I would have pictured an aging black songstress.

How sad is it that I don't go to concerts very often? Very. The things I like tend to be so danged expensive, and then there's the tyke, and there is always some reason not to, y'know? But this time, I am so glad I went. Here's hoping this is the beginning of a concert-going trend.

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