Saturday, March 27, 2010

Hospital Ships - Wye Oak - Shearwater Local 506 3/25/10

Shearwater was formed in Austin, Texas in 1999 by Okkervil River members Jonathan Meiburg and Will Sheff. This year they released their terrific new album, The Golden Archipelago. They brought the tour for this album to the Local 506 along with Merge Records' own Wye Oak and a spinoff band from Shearwater called Hospital Ships. Hospital ships got things rolling with a low key, drummerless set of folk-inspired songs. Front man Jordan Geiger provided adroit song-craft and singing to this low key mix. Kim Burke (bassist for Shearwater) joined Hospital ships to play xylophone on a few songs.

Next up were Wye Oak. Wye Oak is a duo consiting of Andy Stack and Jenn Wasner. Wasner sings lead vocals and plays electric guitar, while Stack plays both drums and keyboards, playing the drums with his feet and right hand, and the bass line with his left hand. They flow from song to song with noise-pop sensibility with songs often evolving out of interludes of seemingly random keyboard notes and looped guitar feedback or riffs. Jenn and Andy play with real passion and don't scrifice their expertise in the process. Ther new album The Knot is superb.

Shearwater is a small tribe onstage. A group consisting of 5 consumately talented individuals who create a palate of sound for lead singer Jonathan Meiburg's unique vocal sound. The song-craft is first rate. The music itself has a timeless, almost ancient feel. It's as if the songs were rescued from a dark past and brought to life on electric instruments. Epic is an over used word, but Shearwater brings epic to mind. The songs on "The Golden Archipelago" feel like an interconnected suite of music that is guaranteed to take you on a journey. The photos that follow are of Jonathan Meiburg on Thursday night.

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