Thursday, June 21, 2007

Sympathy for the Devil

"Does the devil call you by name and do you and answer him the same?"

The Durham, NC duo Sequoya has a newly recorded song, "Weary" up on their myspace page. Sequoya are Bonnie, former drummer for the Veldas, and Matt from Joy in Red. In The Veldas, Bonnie always seemed to be reserved as she kept a steady beat and drummed away in the background. Previous Sequoya songs have been more acousticore. I know that Aimee Mann has always been a big influence.

Contrastingly, this new song, diverges from the norm and is rocking. At first, you think it is going to be a quiet contemplative song offering comfort to a troubled friend. But this songs builds into crunchy guitar chords with a little added feedback. Bonnie's voice is clear and strong on this song. You get the sense that even though she offers comfort, that she is concerned that it will be hard to loosen the devil's grip on this troubled soul. Sternly she sings, "come to me, my dear, dear friend, I will comfort you, yes I will." The friend seems to be worn from the seasons of life, but I wonder if the singer is not wearied from the constant need to offer respite and salvation.

"Weary" is definitely a darker sound for Sequoya, but I think it really works. I look forward to hearing more of their future recordings.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

One Word, Enthralling

Last night's Des Ark performance at the Cat's Cradle was nothing short of enthralling. This was the first time I had seen the band in over a year. Although I have seen Aimee perform solo, the full band adds a whole other dimension to the music.

Honestly, when she performs solo and acoustic, I often have to walk out of the room due to the heart-rending subject matter. The lyrics in her songs are so intense, that when she performs alone I feel the anguish within those songs so much more accutely. My instinct is to run.

Last night, I was transfixed and I wasn't going anywhere. The music and electrified energy of the performance was spellbinding. All I can say is the undulating guitars, the lasciviousness of the lyrics, and the dorky stories between songs are some good shit.

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