Monday, September 26, 2005

CMJ Thursday pt 2

After Lady Sovereign I raced over to Irving Plaza to see Devotchka and Regina Spektor. Actually, I wasn't sure if I'd stay for Regina's show because I didn't want to get shut out of the Dungen show at Bowery Ballroom. Anyway, I was excited for Devotchka, because I've really gotten into their gypsy/rock fusion thing of late (though I still think their version of Venus in Furs is more disappointing than amazing). They're the ones with the amazing song "How It Ends" from the Everything is Illuminated trailer.

Once I got settled David Byrne walked in and passed by on his way to the balcony. Soon after, Nick (the singer) came out carying a bottle of wine, whose cork he pulled out with his teeth. And drank straight from the bottle during the whole show. There was Nick (on electric guitar and vocals, and sometimes theremin), a drummer, someone who switched between accordion and violin, and someone who played tuba and upright bass. The songs were great but they were all the songs I already know... kind of like a 'best of' set. Which I liked, but i was hoping for a revelation. Still, a big thumbs up for the gypsy-rock fusion - and for any singer who raises his bottle of wine to the crowd before chugging 3 glasses worth mid-song.

Then I decided to stay for Regina since I had never seen her play live before, and because Dungen wasn't slated to go on until 12:45. She was really awesome. She also seemed really surprised to have this packed holuse of people desperately attaching themselves to every word, every breath, every blink.

I didn't know any of Regina's songs going in but I was really impressed. They're piano songs and some of them are love songs but her uncharacteristic delivery and her convoluted approach to narrative kind of sweep me away.
"Sampson" was really good. Her cover unexpected cover of Jeff Buckley's "Hallelujah" was spot-on. She also played some song about hearing November Rain twice on the radio because the dj was asleep... that song is awesome, whatever it is.
[you can stream most/all of her studio tracks at her website.]

after that it was into a cab to race down to Bowery Ballroom and try to catch Dungen.
to be continued...


Mike Russo said...

Sounds awesome, but umm, dude, Hallelujah is a Leonard Cohen song. I agree, the Buckley cover is definitive, but credit where credit's due/render unto Caeser etc.

dave said...


since Jonny Greenwood has never heard the Stooges, I think I can get away with saying: the only Leonard Cohen album I've ever heard is "Songs". any songs not on "Songs" are not in my repertoire. I've heard Nick Cave's version of "Avalanche" as well. and the song mentioned above (but never the original).