Elvis Perkins in Dearland @ Rockwood, 04/07/06Plays again tonight at Rockwood at 7:00. Get there early and get a seat. Get many mp3s here.
My original, glowing, review of Elvis Perkins was after only a single day listening to the sad, sad world that Perkins habits with his talented band 'in Dearland.' Since then, I’ve only been drawn further in, and further convinced. As live performers, the quartet never quite captures the fragility on the record. They come close, as long as everyone watching remains perfectly still. At Rockwood, the barwench wanders around during every single song, taking orders and delivering booze, and each time it disrupts the mindset they're striving to achieve. That’s why I say: get there early and get a seat. Last week, the band played their normal set and then continued for an additional
20 minutes with the assent of the owner. We were then treated to many songs that Elvis in Dearland never typically play, mostly being light and cheerful.
Elvis Perkins in Dearland – Ash Wednesday
I finally procured the ever illusive “album.” Ash Wednesday begins with the sweet “While You Were Sleeping” starting with only Perkins and his guitar and evolves with adding instruments. When the drum swings (even more on "Without Love"), it’s easy to forget that even the most upbeat are rather melancholy. Without Love
? Yeah… it’s sad. The third song, "May Day" then is even more upbeat, and if there’s any flaw in the track-listing it’s that these engaging three openers leave some relentlessly depressing moments later on. "May Day "might be better used between "The Night & The Liquor" and "It’s a Sad World After All." That’s when you hope your Zoloft kicks in.
“Ash Wednesday,” being the title track is also the signature song. Yet, by the time it appears on the album (practically “buried” as the seventh song), it blends in so well that it almost dis
appears among the others. And that's great; it would be catastrophic if it stood out. Then, after the dreary 1-2 punch of the “Zoloft” tracks I mentioned above, “Sleep Sandwich” promises “Someday everyone will know who you are / everyone will know who I am” backed by it's warm chamber sounds… just in time too.
The album winds up with a moment of brilliancy. “Good Friday” seems to take its cues from classical song-cycle composers leaving the listener with it’s soft pensive gentle subtleties. It's a much better conclusion than this paragraph.