Posted in music on April 7, 2010
DOWNLOAD: Bonnie Prince Billy - Play, Guitar, Play (MP3)
photo by Shawn Brackbill
At the eight o'clock early show, [Bonnie "Prince"] Billy showed up in all-yellow in the darkened stony room, accompanied by collaborator Emmett Kelly of the Cairo Gang, who played guitar and carried high-pitched, sinuous harmonies. For the duration, our "Prince" performed sans microphone, or any instrument besides the occasional melodica, singing mournful ballads from his newly-released album, The Wonder Show of the World. It was transcendent. Oldham has the commanding presence of a stage actor; his movements are evocative, animated, and precise. A lot of the time last night, he looked like he was performing a monologue rather than singing a song. Meanwhile, the jam-packed crowd sat shoulder-to-shoulder on Monster Island's concrete floor, but, from what we could tell, the room was too busy being enthralled by Oldham to really mind.[Village Voice]Bonnie "Prince" Billy and the Cairo Gang (Will Oldham and guitarist Emmett Kelly) played three shows in two nights at the intimate Monster Island on April 1st and 2nd. Really nice videos of the unamplified show are posted below.
A song from the new record, The Wonder Show of the World, out now on Drag City, is re-posted above. Their tour, which stopped at New Orleans' famous Preservation Hall, has a few more West Coast shows left. Videos from the Monster Island gig ("I See a Darkness" as an encore, and more) are below...
Bonnie Prince Billy & The Cairo Gang - Beware Your Only Friend April 1st
Bonnie Prince Billy & The Cairo Gang - I See A Darkness
Bonnie Prince Billy & The Cairo Gang - Someone Coming Through/You Win
Bonnie Prince Billy & The Cairo Gang - With Cornstalks Or Among them/The Sounds Are Always Begging
Bonnie Prince Billy & The Cairo Gang