May 2009
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Wednesday at Walter’s on Washington

Pegstar Concerts entertained a subdued crowd last night hosting Elvis Perkins in Dearland, Other Lives, and Tody Castillo at Walter’s on Washington.

Castillo’s easy rock tempo contained individual instrumental solos and an occasional breakdown. Those who enjoy the calming sound of an alto male would appreciate his effortless mid to high range inflections. He broke periodically to interface with the crowd and, while doing so, he often addressed us as “dogs.” A collective clap began to infect the assembly during his last few songs. Generated by his admirers, it spread until most showgoers had joined in.

Jesse Tabish, an Iron and Wine Samuel Beam look-a-like due to his comparable matted hair and beard, fronts the ethereal array Other Lives. They began with a very delicate number embraced by a muted upstroke from Tabish’s acoustic. He has a throaty, yet nasal emphasis to his tone. One who enjoys a lot of oscillating sound, orchestral arrangements, and an integral piano resonance would be pleased with what Other Lives has to offer. They did a cover of Leonard Cohen’s “The Partisan” and the crowd hooted its approval.

Lorretta-Lynn-Cracker-Barrel-country tunes played as we waited entirely too long for Elvis Perkins and Dearland to get settled on the stage. When they were ready Elvis himself asked, “Will somebody get all the smokers and tell them to come in.” He reminded me of Amos Lee, among other folk identities. His rock edge gives him an innovative freshness that diverges from strict folk tendencies. Nick Kinsey, the drummer, was given a little freedom to interact when he strapped on a base drum rigged with a cymbal and stepped to the front striking it with a mallet and a tambourine. Jenny Hsu from Other Lives contributed now and again with her electric cello. Harmonicas, a trombone, a saxophone, and a harmonium were also part of the equation.

They performed the majority of their new self-titled album as well as a few off of Perkin’s solo debut, Ash Wednesday. The only slight criticism I should mention with regard to the overall show would be the infrequent drowning of Elvis’ vocal to the mass of instruments. They did a customary encore consisting of two songs, the later joined by Other Lives. Each artist staggered back onto the stage entering only when his or her participation was needed.

1. 123 Goodbye
2. I Heard Your Voice In Dresden
3. Chains, Chain, Chains
4. Emilie’s Vietnam in the Sky
5. Hey
6. Hours Last Stand
7. Weeping Mary (cover)
8. Stop, Drop, Rock n’ Roll
9. I’ll Be Arriving
10. May Day!
11. How’s Forever Been Baby
12. Stay Zombie
13. Shampoo

Encore

1. While You Were Sleeping
2. Doomsday

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