Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Great Lake Swimmers @ The Hotel Cafe

Getting to the Hotel Cafe by doors open at 7 o’clock is a transit impossibility. I loaded This American Life's - 24 Hours at the Golden Apple for the ride, which made the hour long/11 mile trek not only bearable but quite a nice start to the evening.

For those not yet aquatinted with the Hotel Cafe, the place is a treat. You enter in through an alley, it's small. The stage is a low riser wrapped in red curtains, and everything is dimly lit by round lanterns hanging from the ceiling. I wish more people played here. It's a beautiful warm sounding room, and I don’t know if it's the norm or just the bands that were playing but I was among the most respectful, quiet audience I’ve encountered in L.A. Kudos to the grandmother that shushed noisy table 4. We'd all wanted to.

Ferraby Lionheart was on stage when we arrived. Where have I been with this guy? What’s not to love? Great lyrics, great 60s swing, and he looks like he’s taking ill when he sings. I wanted to buy this guy a bowl of tomato soup and make him a grilled cheese he was such a pleasant surprise.

[mp3] Ferraby Lionheart - A Bell And Tumble
[mp3] Ferraby Lionheart - Vermont Avenue

(Ferraby’s new album out Sept.4)

Great Lake Swimmers have a casual wisdom to their presence that is fitting. They are very calm, and gracious, and without announcement quietly took stage and started into songs from their new album.

It’s Log Cabin music. Tony Dekker's
waivering round voice haunts the room beautifully, and Erik Arnesen’s oft strummed (as opposed to plucked) banjo is understated and blends into the whole of songs, complete and serene. They brought a harmonium with them underlying one song with its comforting drones, and the bass and drums, not ever particularly slow are deliberate and paced. It’s music that feels like winters outside.

[mp3] Great Lake Swimmers - Your Rocky Spine
[mp3] Great Lake Swimmers - I Will Never See The Sun

(GLS’s new album “Ongiara” out now)



Blogger Arpit Mehta said...

Heh, I started reading this post, and I was like, this is neither Nick nor Jonathan's writing style... it's gotta be English (sorry, still don't know your name) :D

6:56 PM  
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3:48 AM  

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