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Friday, December 10, 2004

Über-Post, Part II

Alright, part two of Saturday's quadruple bill at the Graceland. The third artist of the night was Sarah Dougher. My involvement with Sarah's music is a bit of a tangled web. First came Sleater-Kinney's music, which I absolutely treasure. In the last couple years they have become not only my current favorite band, but one of my favorite bands of all-time. After one exhausts the entire Sleater-Kinney catalog, it's only natural that they begin to look at Corin, Carrie and Janet's various side-projects. Seeing as Corin's voice is the most thrilling aspect of Sleater-Kinney's music to me, it makes sense that I would begin my extra-Sleater-Kinney exploration with Cadallaca. And so, like a good fanatic, I hunted down and came to love 1998's Introducing Cadallaca, on which Corin, Sarah and Sts (from the Lookers) break out the Farfisa and have more fun than should be humanly possible. Then came Cadallaca's 2000 EP, Out West. After that, finally, I began to explore Sarah's solo music. She has released three full-length albums, the latest being 2001's The Bluff.

Sarah's set was short and spare: just her warm voice and acoustic guitar. Her music is nakedly emotional and very intense. Her songs are so obviously honest and thoughtful that it's possible for one to feel uncomfortable, like a voyeur...especially when standing right in front of her. A song she introduced as being about writing, for instance, felt like as much of a struggle as her songs about lost love. Perhaps because of this, or perhaps because the bare instrumentation made her music seem uninviting, many people used this part of the show as a bar or bathroom break. Not me; it's true that her songs are more accessible on her albums, but there was still much to enjoy about her set.

Anyway, here's a great song from the previously mentioned The Bluff:

Sarah Dougher - "Must Believe"

Visit Sarah's website for more information.

Finally, after midnight, the person most people came to see took the stage. I've already written about Edith Frost once during the short life of this blog and it's complete luck that Edith gets to be the first person written about twice.

Her set was outstanding. Cherry-picking from across her entire catalogue, Edith put on a terrific show. She opened up with two solo acoustic numbers, then invited Jason and Ryan of Manishevitz back up to play drums and bass respectively. There was a drunk girl near the front of the stage that kept flirting with Edith ("You have a lovely voice!") and Edith handled it like a pro ("I'm sure you do too.") Then Nate, also from Manishevitz, came up to work wonders with his flute. "Exploiting the openers", she called it. After Nate left, Manishevitz's lead guitarist Via came up. It was really cool to watch 3/5 of Manishevitz, who earlier in the night had played a variation of glam-rock so well, turn around and expertly execute country-rock.

Drunk girl observed of the small crowd, "We're the luckiest 20 people in Seattle", to which Edith replied, "Yeah, what the hell?" Throughout her long set, which seemed to fly by, she was charming and casual, swigging from a beer between every song. At one point drunk girl said she thought Edith would have been a Rolling Rock drinker and Edith quipped "I'm not a connoisseur". "I drink whatever they give me," she continued, and then invited drunk girl to buy the band a round of Rolling Rock. Sure enough, after the next song, drunk girl's boyfriend returned with four beers for Edith and the band.

So, here's one of Edith's finest songs, which she played last Saturday night. It's from Wonder Wonder, released in 2001:

Edith Frost - "Cars And Parties"

Visit Edith's blog for tour dates and whatnot, that way next time she's in your town you can help give her the audience she deserves.


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