ballad of big nothing
From: Pabs firstname.lastname@example.org
Here's the complete set-list:
son of sam happiness southern belle between the bars la rose parade pretty mary k division day angeles needle in the hay say yes waltz #2 (xo) st ides heaven biggest lie independence day
encore: ballad of big nothing coming up roses night time
encore 2: pitseleh last call
From: Kevin Wineinger email@example.com
This review is from a site called Nude as the
News. It's by two guys who have a site that they see as an alternative to commercial
music news sites. I haven't have much chance to review it, but it's at: http://www.nudeasthenews.com/ :
Singer/guitarist Elliott Smith drew an enraptured crowd at Chicago's Empty Bottle nightclub into his dark but comforting musical world Saturday night. In the midst of a 10-date promotional tour for his upcoming album, Figure 8, Smith played a modest set of material from all five of his solo albums, previewing four tracks from the upcoming record and the lead song of his new EP.
Opening band OK, Go! set a strange mood for the evening with an eclectic set that at times evoked hard rockers like Helmet and bubblegum pop along the lines of Shonen Knife. Wading through some technical difficulties, the band closed its set with a cover of Smith's "Clementine," giving the normally sparse, acoustic song an energetic power-pop treatment.
Smith himself presented an altogether different stage presence, sitting on a wooden chair with one acoustic guitar and a microphone. The Empty Bottle crowd proved very respectful of the artist, and allowed the sound of his resonant voice and guitar work to envelop the quiet, smoky bar.
Smith opened with two songs from Figure 8, "Son Of Sam" and "Happiness," but soon moved into his back catalog, and ended up playing a well-rounded set, pulling most heavily from his 1995 self-titled album and 1997's either/or. He exhibited some delicious-sounding guitar work, transitioning smoothly between bright melody-carrying notes, steady rhythmic strumming and bass parts.
But the real musical treat was Smith's breathy voice, which sounded full and sonorous, adding weight to his sometimes repetitively-themed lyrics. Even in such a casual live setting, Smith was able to accurately reproduce - and occasionally improve upon - the vocal parts of his studio work. His subtle use of melisma lent a melodic complexity to many of his songs.
A five-week U.S. tour featuring a full band is in the works for June, but this intimate show was a good representation of the acoustic side of Smith's oeuvre and a forum to introduce his newest material. Along with the two openers, Smith played Figure 8's "L.A." and "Pretty Mary K" as well as "Division Day," the title track to a new EP which is set to be released before the album.
Inspired by plentiful applause, Smith played two encores, tossing in a cover of Big Star's "Night Time" and closing with "Last Call," from his own debut album, Roman Candle.
- Troy Carpenter