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items tagged with Daytrotter

Escaping the Trap: The Mieka Canon, December 15 at Huckleberry’s
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2009-12-11 19:15:46

Mieka Pauley. Photo by Josh Rothstein.

Listening to Mieka Pauley play and sing "All the Same Mistakes" in her session released earlier this year, it's hard to imagine somebody who at one point loathed her music.

Using just her voice and an acoustic guitar, she is defiant and forceful yet also surprisingly supple, muscular but precise. The version that appears on her 2008 album Elijah Drop Your Gun is prettier and more delicate and takes advantage of her full band, but the Daytrotter version smolders, builds, and ignites.

Yet in early 2007, Pauley said that she felt ensnared by that voice-and-guitar combo. She had what she called "a very sad epiphany" while looking in a bathroom mirror: "What am I doing?"

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Feel the Terror: Andrew W.K., December 5 at RIBCO
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2009-12-01 20:17:02

Andrew W.K.I have no certainty that the person whom I interviewed late last month is the real Andrew W.K., or the original Andrew W.K., or even that Andrew W.K. as a human being (as opposed to an entertainment entity) exists.

But the guy who called me introduced himself as Andrew W.K. and talked a good game, and he'll presumably be the man performing as Andrew W.K. at a benefit show Saturday at RIBCO. So we'll go with it.

"When someone says you're not a real person, or you don't exist, or that your life is a lie, that's a very strange feeling," he said.

If this sounds a little odd, you've likely not encountered Andrew W.K. I first saw the man on Saturday Night Live in 2002, and the spectacle was so bizarre that it had to be a joke -- some mix of Andy Kaufman's dry meta-comedy and Spinal Tap's sharp musical satire. I was fascinated and bought his record I Get Wet. My wife considered divorcing me.

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A Familiarly Distinctive Voice: Harper Simon, November 23 at Huckleberry’s
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2009-11-19 15:36:44

Harper SimonRolling Stone began its positive four-sentence review this way: "At 37, Harper Simon apparently doesn't mind taking after his pops, Paul, who used to showcase the young, guitar-playing Harper when he was touring on Graceland."

On the one hand, that's mean. Living up to a legacy is tough enough -- just ask anybody with an older sibling -- but it's especially hard when that legacy belongs to a revered pop icon. And can Harper help that he bears a facial resemblance to his father, or that his singing voice and phrasing sound awfully familiar? Of course not.

On the other hand, he's asking for it. Paul Simon is credited as a co-writer on three tracks on Harper Simon, plays guitar on another, and "Wishes & Stars" has the gorgeous light harmonies his father specializes in. The jokey "Tennessee" puts the elder's trademark wit in a country context.

Yet it would be a mistake to pigeonhole Harper Simon -- performing a show on Monday at Huckleberry's -- based on his genes. His debut, released last month, is a quietly adventurous and accomplished work, spanning genres and generations. Employing senior-citizen Nashville session players with intimidating credits (Dylan, Cash, Presley, McCartney, and many more) alongside his contemporaries, Simon has made an album specific to its primary singer, all over the place and yet surprisingly cohesive. It's tight and concise but feels relaxed, natural, and easy.

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An Exchange: Sondre Lerche, November 11 at Huckleberry’s
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2009-11-05 14:47:22

Sondre LercheThe singer/songwriter Sondre Lerche speaks of his audience like a pool of friends and acquaintances -- a blob that's ever-changing.

With each album, he said, "you're gaining someone, and you're losing someone. ... You're going to be reunited with someone you met in the past, and somebody else is going to take some time off and not be a part of what you do, and then also someone brand-new is going to enter the field and be excited about what you do. ... I like that idea."

That speaks to a healthy attitude toward the consequences of his artistic exploration, as well as the fickle taste of the public, but it also reflects the intimate nature of his adventurous, manicured, instrumentally omnivorous pop music, which seems to foster a relationship between artist and audience.

Lerche should be right at home at his show on Wednesday at Huckleberry's, with the small venue offering him plenty of opportunity for that give-and-take.

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Well Seasoned: Lissie, November 11 at Huckleberry’s
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2009-11-03 22:34:10

Lissie. Photo by Andrew Calder.

It might be lemons and lemonade and all that, but Rock Island native Lissie Maurus said she's pleased that it's taken her this long to reach this point in her musical career.

Maurus (who performs under the name Lissie) spent half a decade in Los Angeles and, for the most part, made her living from music. But when she comes back to the Quad Cities for a show next week headlined by Sondre Lerche (see article here), she'll be supporting her first proper release.

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