Posted in music | pictures on March 4, 2009

photos by Fresh Bread

DOWNLOAD: Phosphorescent - Reasons to Quit (Willie Nelson) (MP3)

Phosphorescent

"My final stop on a Saturday night [3/28] of folk shows was Phosphorescent's homecoming at the Bell House. The show, in celebration of his recently released To Willie, found Matthew Houck and his bearded band of urban truck drivers playing the record in its entirety, a first for the Dead Oceans recording artist. The band was as tight as a new pair of boots, often rearranging, and elevating many of the more somber tunes into honky-tonk raveups complete with dueling guitars and whiskey fueled revelry, just the way Willie would've liked it. Reworked versions of "Reasons to Quit" and "Walkin", as well as party favorite "I Gotta Get Drunk", would have been as welcomed at a Barstow truck stop bar as they were at the Gowanus night club." [Chocolate Bobka]
Phosphorescent's new Willie Nelson tribute album To Willie was released on February 3rd. In addition to just regular old touring and playing, he scheduled four times to play the record from start to finish. The first was the above-described and pictured show that happened in Brooklyn on Saturday. The next is in LA, and then San Francisco, and then finally at the BrooklynVegan SXSW showcase at Club De Ville in Austin on Wednesday March 18th. If you're in Austin, stop by!

More Bell House pictures, and a video from the show, below...

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Phosphorescent

Motel Motel...

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Phosphorescent - A Picture Of Our Torn Up Praise @ The Bell House

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Comments (10)

Phosphorescent is totally amazing bow wow

Posted by Anonymous | March 4, 2009 5:21 PM

How was Motel Motel?

Posted by Anonymous | March 4, 2009 5:27 PM

motel motel put on a good show and were also, very polite.

Posted by Anonymous | March 4, 2009 5:35 PM

setlist?

Posted by Anonymous | March 4, 2009 6:18 PM

Ahh, finally - ass photos and crotch shots of a dude. :)

Posted by Lori | March 4, 2009 6:34 PM

@ Lori - i certify that all shots were taken in an artist nature only.

Posted by ryan fb | March 4, 2009 7:17 PM

it's funny... everyone just disregarded the second act (and rightfully so- slow and boooooring) Mike Bones.

it's like he wasn't even there

Posted by Anonymous | March 5, 2009 1:47 AM

Motel Motel need to move to Nashville.

Posted by Anonymous | March 5, 2009 12:24 PM

Drums in live performances: The "Wild Beast"

This Matthew Houck is one of the finest artists in contemporary rock music. The bass player and the keyboard are also very subtle people and they complement pretty well with the singer. The guitarists are also very impressive but I wonder if the band needs two of them. Most of the time in music "less is more". The sound of Phosphorescent when only Houck was playing the guitar was perfect.

I noticed that the band has a new drummer. Unfortunately, in my view, he lacks the nuance and transparency in sound that the former drummer had. For example, I consider that he abused the bass-drum, hitting it all the time. When you have a gem of a singer/songwriter like Houck, everything -specially the drums- should work perfectly, at the service of the singer, the melody, the character of the band, allowing silences to occur and the intense emotions to unfold.

Drums is a very salient instrument, typically very predictable in form, and typically lacking in terms of surprise. It can easily affect the enjoyment of the human voice and other quiet sounds that are more demanding in terms of attention. And this is not just the issue of quite vs. loud volume, but the issue of how you play the instrument, how much silence and unpredictability you allow to happen, and how you complement with the other sounds around. Fortunately you do have some control over the salience of the drums when you are recording and mastering the music in the studio, but in a live performance the "beast" is much more free and difficult to control.

This, I think, is a recurrent problem in contemporary popular music where we are experiencing a sort of renaissance period in terms of artistic quality, creativity, and the creation of beauty. And this doesn't happen every day! Last pick moment was probably the 60s, forty years ago!. In this exceptional times, we should demand more from our drummers -not just to help us with the rhythm. They should be at the service of the music and the beauty of the human voice, not the other way around (The Brooklyn band "Dirty Projectors" constitutes a much more extreme example of how a drummer can affect negatively the nuance of the music).

Anyway, I consider Phosphorescent as one of the finest bands around, with a super singer/song writer leading it, a band that we are all lucky to have around; that's why I am so demanding with them and the issue of the salience and sensitivity of the "wild beast".

Carlos Molina

Posted by Carlos Molina | March 5, 2009 2:21 PM

jeff!

Posted by Anonymous | June 28, 2009 2:59 AM

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