Ferris: Sharon Van Etten’s ‘Serpents’
About two months ago, I saw The National at the Beacon Theater in Manhattan. It was a great show. I had wanted to see The National perform for years and the Beacon was one of the few major NYC venues I had not been to. And while the headlining act were everything I expected, one of the best parts of the show was the opening act – Sharon Van Etten. Even though we were literally in the last row of the theater, closer to the ceiling than the ground floor, her vocals and guitar playing prowess were evident from the nosebleed seats.
Tomorrow, her third album Tramp goes on sale. She has performed on Jimmy Fallon and has received write-ups in the past week in The New York Times and Wall Street Journal. And her three shows later this month in New York City are now sold out. Van Etten’s music combine deeply personal lyrics with a powerful guitar and strong drumming. And when it comes to her stage presense and between-song banter, I think Capital New York‘s barbs couldn’t be further from the truth. The self-deprecation and sarcasm didn’t seem like front or Chan Marhsall knock-off. Here is a video of Van Etten performing Serpents at the Beacon Theater. Enjoy and then go out and get the album.
Rusty: The Shins’ ‘Simple Song’
As Ferris alluded to last week, I was on the road driving back from Athens, Ohio. Never drive to Athens, Ohio. On a brighter note, the weather lately has been teasing us! Although really nice weather still might be a few months off, there’s a lot of new music coming up this year that will certainly make for a great summer of concerts, road trips, and outdoor gatherings.
The latest installment of new music is “Simple Song” by The Shins. I will admit, I have never been a huge fan of the group, but I was also willing to listen when they came on my speakers. “Simple Song” has changed my opinion. As I learned last weekend, the upbeat and catchy-as-hell song is nearly irresistible and certainly has all the goods to brighten your mood. From unique vocals to a repetitive and bombastic riff, the song is a top candidate to be stuck in your head all year. Featured on The Shins fourth album, Port of Morrow (due out next month), the song marks what has been five years of eager anticipation for new material from the band. I love it, and hope you will too!