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photos by Ryan Barkan
Nat Baldwin & Delicate Steve @ Public Assembly
"The New Jersey band Delicate Steve, led by the guitarist Steve Marion, slyly eludes generalizations.Much like the album, the record release show at Public Assembly on 2/5 was mostly an instrumental performance, and like on the album, Dirty Projector Nat Baldwin helped out on some upright bass. At least two other members of DP (Dave and Amber) were in the back of the room cheering him on, along with Phosphorescent and other familiar indie rock faces spread throughout the packed back room of the North 6th Street venue on that Saturday night.
Its debut album, "Wondervisions," is all instrumental, except for one track, "The Ballad of Speck and Pebble," that has a few words in a hazy chorale, and another, "Sugar Splash," with some modest vocal ahs. The tunes usually put some sort of guitar -- electric, acoustic, slide -- upfront, except when cheap keyboards take over. The music is handmade, except where it's blatantly artificial, and has a folksy twang, except where it's more like progressive rock or 1970s pop or surf-rock. And while Delicate Steve often sets out a (more or less) straightforward melody and cycles through it, building each time around, there's no telling when a track will take an abrupt, peculiar tangent." [Jon Pareles @ the NY Times]
In fact, the show was pretty much packed right from the start of the first band, Strange Shapes, and stayed that way through Grandchildren and the excellent Dustin Wong who plays beautiful solo guitar with live looping. Delicate Steve was great but Dustin Wong may have been my favorite.
[Dustin Wong went here]