Sometime around 2006 or 2007, during my first of two senior years in college, I decided to make a long-overdue effort to actually engage in my hometown music scene. All that really means is I jumped on MySpace and did a search for “Baltimore” under the music section. Not particularly effective or engaging, I realize now. Regardless, I did eventually find my way to Beach House, and they were one of the acts that resonated almost immediately, and one of the few that remained with me.
I thought this little tidbit deserved its own space. And given that I didn’t really make a big to-do about Michael Jackson’s death, I feel like this is a good, locally-grown tribute. Let me break it down for you.
This special collaborative cut served as a wonderful nightcap. After Celebration’s last song, the bands merged for an encore treat: Michael Jackon’s “Billie Jean.” Victoria Legrand and Katrina Ford traded off vocals while the rest of Celebration and Alex Scally reproduced that supple, instantly recognizable throbbing beat that just moves you in the way few can. A faithful rendition with a bit of added flourish in the form of richer synth tones, some and vocal tweaks. Two of Baltimore’s best, covering one of pop’s icons. Doesn’t get much better.
Stay tuned for the full sets from both Beach House and Celebration (taped by the Baltimore Taper) later today.
Comment here with a compelling reason or story for why you need this gorgeous outdoor show in your waning summer weeks. It really is that simple. Winner will be picked Aug 5th and notified by email (or phone if you give that).
Sian Alice Group traveled a long way to be a part of this bill, and they certainly stepped up to the plate. An energetic, if at times monotonous, showing that often called to mind the bluesy garage churn of the Kills and Sons and Daughters. Their twist is a bit more adventuresome forays into atmospherics and nuanced repetition and painstakingly measured progression and growth that would be the envy of any aspirators to post-rock.
Vetiver was hotly anticipated, almost as much as headliners Beach House. Seemed everyone was yearning for a taste of their take on folk. Their sound was a vital and invitingly warm one, gentle giants of guitar lines floating airily around the room made the relatively small club stage feel like it opened into a big grassy field. This is the stuff of sunny days and ear-to-ear, Cheshire-size grins.
There was little question when Beach House took the stage that they were the act of the night. It seems they’ve managed to find their comfort zone just outside of the hazy dreams of their repertoire, finding an area of the slightest bit more lucidity to exponential effect. Their live show is progressing nicely from escapist and enshrouding to immediate and captivating.
Beach House seem to be making the e-rounds as of late. Their latest appearance: Pitchfork.tv‘s in-house series “Juan’s Basement.” They star in a 3-parter this week, part one pairs a live performance of “Gila” lovingly shot in vintage soft focus with an interview on Devotion.
Whartscape 2008′s Friday show was at the 2640 Space, a church undergoing renovation assisted by the Red Emma’s collective. In exchange for their services, they get to hold events provided there is no alcohol sold/drunk on the premises…house of God and all.
This year’s line-up has more variety with a less shotgun-based approach of toss whoever, together whenever (as intimated by Adam in our interview). And what more perfect theme for the 2640 Space than a night focusing on folk, performance art and generally softer music and calmer music than the electronic spazz rock Wham City is better known for. The hallowed and empty space, presided over by stained glass cut with sacred and holy images, is one cavernous room. An orator’s dream, as well as any musician or vocalist.
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