Posted in music | pictures on November 25, 2009

words & photos by Dominick Mastrangelo

Camera Obscura

A small group huddled around Kenny McKeeve and Gavin Dunbar not long after Camera Obscura's sold-out show at the Music Hall of Williamsburg on Sunday night (11/22). One globe-trotting fan from Toronto had recently seen and met the band in Barcelona and Glasgow on their recent tour across Europe prompting McKeeve to quip, "You've clocked a lot of miles, haven't you?"

Yet, the same could be said for Camera Obscura. It's hard to think of 2009 as a breakthrough year for a band that's been around in some form since 1996 with several critically-hailed records under its belt. But that's precisely what it was. They produced one of the finest records in 2009 - My Maudlin Career (4AD) - crossing the globe almost non-stop in support. They sold out four shows in New York City in venues of various sizes, made their US late-night television debut (video below), turned out three smartly done videos and still have more touring lined up at the start of next year.

The band showed no effects of their exhaustive schedule on Sunday. And there were several stretches where leadsinger Tracyanne Campbell could have not sung at all such was the crowd's voice on several of the songs, most notably, "French Navy". "Good singing," said Campbell after the song.

The crowd, which spanned from scenesters to indie pop kids and beyond, shook off pretensions and danced to all the upbeat numbers like "Honey In The Sun" and "Let's Get Out of This Country" while couples swayed and held onto each other during slower songs like "James" and "Pen and Notebook." It was timeless pop executed in winning fashion by a band performing at the top of their game.

ChristmasOn December 8th...

...they will be releasing a holiday single [via 4AD]! 'The Blizzard' will be available as a 7" & digital single with the album track 'Swans' as the b-side. 'The Blizzard' is a pretty dour song as far as "holiday" tunes are concerned. It was written by country artist Jim Reeves and is about a gentleman trying to get home to a gal named Mary Anne. He's riding a lame pony in a blizzard, and, well - it doesn't have a happy ending. He ends up just 100 yards short - ie: freezing to death before he gets there.
That's the cover art there to the right. Listen to "The Blizzard" in a YouTube below.

Papercuts is on tour with the band until December 3rd and opened this Brooklyn show. More pictures, the CO setlist, and all dates, below...

Papercuts

Papercuts

Papercuts

Papercuts

Papercuts

Papercuts

Papercuts

Papercuts

Papercuts

Camera Obscura

Camera Obscura

Camera Obscura

Camera Obscura

Camera Obscura

Camera Obscura

Camera Obscura

Camera Obscura

Camera Obscura

Camera Obscura

Camera Obscura

Camera Obscura

Camera Obscura

Camera Obscura

Camera Obscura

Camera Obscura

Camera Obscura

Camera Obscura

Camera Obscura

Camera Obscura

Camera Obscura

Camera Obscura

Camera Obscura

Craig Ferguson 6/15/09 Late Late Show Camera Obscura

Camera Obscura - The Blizzard

Camera Obscura - 2009/2010 Tour Dates
Nov 25 - The German House Rochester
Nov 26 - Phoenix Toronto, ON
Nov 27 - Crofoot Ballroom Pontiac, MI
Nov 28 - Turnerhall Ballroom Milwaukee, WI
Nov 30 - Bluebird Nightclub Bloomington, IN
Dec 1 - Off Broadway St Louis, MO
Dec 2 - The Lyric Oxford Oxford, MS
Dec 3 - 40 Watt Club Athens, GA
Jan 18 - Monte Cristo Room Auckland
Jan 19 - San Francisco Bathhouse wellington
Jan 21 - Beck's Festival Bar, Sydney Festival Sydney
Jan 22 - The Zoo Brisbane
Jan 23 - Corner Hotel Melbourne
Jan 25 - Th Amplifier Perth

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Comments (16)

Good solid Scottish band.

Posted by Anonymous | November 25, 2009 5:23 PM

A fine example of a band that works their hardest to make their dream come true. This translates well through their music and is one of the things that makes them sound so great. Music with a soul and heart.

Posted by Minsc @ House to rent in France | November 26, 2009 12:04 AM

One of my favorite shows of the year..Thanks for covering it.

Posted by Anonymous | November 26, 2009 1:35 AM

Hi Dominick Mastrangelo,
You are so gorgeous! amazing photos! I am super stoked that you are going into the photography realm! I like the product which is used by many one.

Posted by usb sticks | November 26, 2009 7:32 AM

the best camera obscura show i've seen. and i've seen a lot of them.

Posted by Anonymous | November 26, 2009 10:08 AM

well said! Have to say I'm quite jealous of the "globe-trotting fan from Toronto" having just seen them for the first time.

Posted by blureu | November 26, 2009 12:19 PM

love u tracyanne, wanna hit it so baad

Posted by Anonymous | November 26, 2009 3:52 PM

What a fabulous show at the Pheonix in Toronto Nov / 26/09 opening band Papercuts where very solid despite tech problems they prevailed in a very professional manner. Absolutely no dissapointments with Camera Obscura..what a show ...they duplicated the sound from the albums to live show flawlessly, the best show i have seen this year. Very personable band , wonderful musicians. Stayed around 15 after the show and was able to talk to Tracy and get a photo with her..very accomodating..totally awesome.

Posted by flippin dick | November 27, 2009 9:51 AM

tracyanne and carey did an acoustic version of "the last song" after the crowd cleared out. it was pretty sweet. the sweetest thing even. ha.

Posted by Anonymous | November 27, 2009 6:47 PM

I have tried many times to listen to them, but I just don't get the allure of Camera Obscura. They just strike me as a second-rate Belle and Sebastian.

Posted by Anonymous | November 30, 2009 1:38 PM

To Anon 1:38--

That's because you are an idiot.

Posted by Anonymous | November 30, 2009 2:02 PM

i think they sound marvelous!!!(maybe because i'm tim's mom)

Posted by cronin | November 30, 2009 7:48 PM

Just because I disagree with you doesn't mean I'm an idiot.

Posted by Anonymous | December 1, 2009 2:39 PM

2:39--

No. You are an idiot because you say stupid things. "second-rate Belle and Sebastian"... not only are your comments stupid... they are completely unoriginal.

Posted by Anonymous | January 8, 2010 10:50 AM

Webseite. Wenn ich mal fragen darf, wieviel Besucher habt ihr denn so täglich? Habt Ihr die Seite für Suchmaschinen optimiert?? Oder hat sich das eher von allein im Internet herumgesprochen und dementsprechend Links aufgebaut?

Posted by Lucila Estrado | December 29, 2010 7:33 AM

Die Webseite ist wunderbar und der Artikel ist für mich ganz persönlich sehr hilfreich. Ich hatte nur das kleine Problem, deinen Feed zu abonnieren. Ich weiß nicht warum, aber das funktionierte erst beim dritten mal. Ist bei anderen auch so? Falls ja, müsstest Du die Einstellungen überprüfen. Alles andere ist super, nützliche Infos, schnelle Ladezeit usw. Kann man sich eine Scheibe

Posted by Ute Eagen | December 29, 2010 8:34 PM

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