Posted in music | pictures on November 28, 2010

photos by Toby Tenenbaum, words by Rachel Kowal

Junip

The members of Junip may not have celebrated Thanksgiving growing up, but the Swedish group's music was perfect for Wednesday night's lazy, pre-holiday haze.

The evening began with a set by the talented group Lost in the Trees. From watching the cheerful interactions among the musicians on stage, it may be tempting to write off the North Carolinians as a bit too precious, but chief songwriter/composer Ari Picker's dark lyrics and foreboding orchestral solos are often anything but sweet and innocent. Dead babies, dashed hopes, dirty secrets, and sick hearts were all mentioned in the band's opening song, "All Alone in an Empty House." With the lyrics in mind, all those knowing glances exchanged on stage take on the sinister tone of a conniving group of co-conspirators.

The band may not have directly serenaded the audience by unplugging their instruments and hopping off stage as is often the case at their shows, but their performance was certainly not lacking in bravado. The audience easily warmed to their satisfying set.

Following Lost in the Trees, a strange series of projected images and videos (like psychedelic shadow puppets and car-driving cats) filled the screen as a way to distract concert-goers during the set-up process. Then, the screen lifted and Junip began to play at 9:45 sharp.

Even those who are relatively new to Junip may recognize the dulcet tones of José González on vox. What may come as a surprise is that González began making music with Junip more than four years before he embarked on successful career as a solo artist. Junip retains González' understated, largely indecipherable vocals and serious guitar work while boasting peppier percussion and fuller instrumentation thanks to collaborators Elias Araya and Tobias Winterkorn. Now, after over a decade of sporadic activity, the group has embarked on a more serious regimen to coincide with the recent release of Fields.

In my personal experience, getting used to a bedroom musician's work with a band can be rough (Iron & Wine, anybody?), but since this project's name denotes a departure from José González, the solo artist, Junip becomes much easier to digest and enjoy.

Junip's setlist, more pictures from the show, and a Big Ass Lens profile of the band that was filmed at the show, below...

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Profile - Junip from Big Ass Lens on Vimeo.

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Junip Set list
Rope and Summit
Black Refuge
To the Grain
Howl
?
Tide
It's Alright
Always
?
Far Away

Encore
Without You
In Every Direction
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Comments (7)

i thought they finished with without you. good show. NOBODY was there. i think jose attracted a bigger crowd when he played by himself.

Posted by Anonymous | November 28, 2010 9:44 PM

Too many photos! Edit out the 'ok' shots next time.

Posted by Anonymous | November 28, 2010 11:15 PM

agree with 11:15

Posted by Anonymous | November 29, 2010 7:59 AM

Bad night to play - if I had been in town I would have loved to go see them again. They were great back in June at the Knit and it was sold out...

Posted by Anonymous | November 29, 2010 11:53 AM

The floor was actually quite packed - at least three-quarters of the way to the bar in the back. The balcony was pretty sparse tho. Regardless, Junip's set (altho short) was positively mind-blowing. Jose is an all-timer.

Posted by Anonymous | November 29, 2010 1:04 PM

i wouldn't mind the crowds to all my shows to be like the one that night - made it more enjoyable and yes, short set but still a great show

Posted by Anonymous | November 29, 2010 2:29 PM

I wish I was there… I heard the concert was just amazing!!! Of course watching Lost in the trees must have been much more interesting with their two cellos, a fiddle, a tuba, a French horn and an accordian, along with more traditional folk-y instruments like a guitar and a bass guitar. People who were there you are so lucky!!!

Posted by Custom term papers | December 2, 2010 10:15 AM

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