24 May 2010


there are some things about living in a major european capital city with which no other place can compare. like world-class music venues that happen to be a five-minute walk from your ultra-modern dorm room.

this weekend i was fortunate enough to see two fantastic concerts, one at loppen and the other at DR koncerthuset. best coast made me giddy and got me dancing and joanna newsom left me floating, high on harp melodies.

i went to best coast on saturday night with bjørn and baijie, and simon, esther and some others were also there. simon and esther work at loppen which, if i were staying here longer, i would totally want to do to. it's such a good vibe in there, with the rustic walls and ceilings, cheap drinks, and generally good company and music. loppen has turned out to be my default place to go see shows; they have so many good concerts. it's funny, actually, that being all the way over here in denmark, i've seen tons of californian music (the dodos, port o'brien, best coast, joanna newsom). it keeps me grounded, in a way (and it was awful cool to see van and ryan in christiania).

i dug best coast. i dug the no-bullshit attitude and the short quick a-little-bit-melancholy pop and their style and the fact that they have a girl drummer.

i dug dancing with girlfriends and even the opening band with all their twist-inciting energy. when they finished their set i decided it was the best show i'd seen yet this year.

then i saw joanna newsom last night with patch and his mom,

rune and liv,

and my friend marcello, and joanna newsom and her band just completely blew saturday's show out of the water. i've been wanting to see her for over three years and i'm so glad i've finally seen her hands on her harp live. it was so beautiful and awe-inspiring. how can someone's fingers even move that quickly and surely? she played piano, too, singing all the while. she played with five other splendid musicians who were playing guitar, recorder, banjo, violins, trombone, drums, and tambourine, as well as backup vocals. i got shivers many times. she played mostly new songs, but a few old ones, too. she's the only artist i've ever seen who sang more clearly during a performance than on an album. i could hear every word of "the book of right-on"; it was amazing. my favorite song she played, though, had to have been "good intentions paving company" from her new album: it was all building energy and rhythm with bottles and sticks and slow turns in song. i wish she had played "in california" and "clam crab cockle cowrie" but i was more than satisfied with the set. she finished with "peach, plum, pear"; with that, i felt at home in my head and heart.

she got two standing ovations because she's fucking amazing: she's beautiful, obviously an amazing musician and really sharp, has great style, and, from the looks of it, not pretentious in the least. another really cool thing about the show was that she took a break in the middle of it to tune her harp, during which the audience got to ask the band questions. it created some interesting dialogue about european footwear and the venue. the DR concert house is pretty amazing. it feels like being inside a beehive.

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