Amoeba Music, SF.
Great American Music Hall.
First up yesterday was Okkervil River at Amoeba. Lately I've really been gobbling up their new record, "The Stage Names." You can currently stream the whole thing over at the band's myspace page. So based on that I was very excited for the show. It was better than I even anticipated. Frankly, this band blew me away live, and you must go see them when they come through your town.
First off, I had never been to an Amoeba in-store performance, so I was not sure what to expect w/r/t sound quality. But it turns out that those Amoeba people really know what they're doing because the sound was excellent.
Then, there was the music. They played the new album, so if you were an old school fan maybe this would have been something of a disappointment. But if you were disappointed by this show obviously you are trying too hard at life. Because this band is so amazing live. The lead singer plays each song like he's undergoing an exorcism. Like the song lives somewhere deep within his soul and he must frantically twitch and twitter until he gets that song out of him where it slowly washes over the crowd. By saving himself, he gives us all life. All for free, and at a record shop. It's a good thing, that.
After having life affirmed at Amoeba, I headed out through the fog slowly enveloping the Haight and made my way over to GAMH to meet up with my friend The Hip Librarian because she had scored an extra ticket to the Finches show. Without even getting into the whole "teaching generations of people how to read, and in so doing spreading civilization's greatest literary accomplishments, and in so doing creating a thoughtful and free-thinking citizenry, and in so doing creating an informed and vibrant and staggeringly accomplished culture" thing, scoring extra tickets to the Finches is reason enough for us to stand up and support librarians and the funding of our libraries. Think about it, folks.
I've blogged about the Finches before. They were every bit as lovely live as they are recorded. The lead singer has such a pure, perfect voice. It's really quite awesome. This was a seated show which created a neat environment. So I didn't want to be That Guy using a flash and ruining the moment. So I just snapped two pics, then sat back, and enjoyed the music. Fun night.
Here's a flavor of the Finches live, from a show last month: