Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Brown Bird at Amsterdam's Paradiso

Dear Brown Bird

Sometimes when you go to a gig and you know nothing of the support act and the support act sucks it's no great loss other than wondering why the main act selected them. But other times, those glorious and precious times, you catch the support act and it feels like you've struck gold, not always as polished as the main act but all the more satisfying for digging that bit deeper - or at least arrived when the doors opened.
I was taken away by your music, simple and earnest. David's voice, so clear through that beard, what should have muffled actually filtered, Morgan's aching strings and Joan Baez vocal style plus Mike's classic dobro filled the magestic Paradiso's hall with a rustic stomp that bands with more plugs, pedals and pomp have failed to do.

After the show I'd hoped to congratulate you on a fine set. If only I had stopped at the merch desk mid-Low Anthem as I smuggled myself out for a quick piss. Alas, at the end of a spectacular set by your fellow Rhode Islanders it was their turn to meet and greet.

Nevertheless I bought The Devil Dancing on CD - I owed you that much - and added my name to your mailing list (about three quarts the way down on the first page). I popped the disc in my girlfriend's bag and went home to bed.

This morning I woke irrationally early so I hopped up and tackled a mountain of dishes and what better way to help me get through the slog than with some gentle morning music.

I sliced open the plastic seal of my new CD and opened the cardboard sleeve, fired up the computer and tried to pop out the disc from its casing. Like a reluctant virgin the disc wouldn't pop from its centre. It just bent, bowed with a creaking sound, before finally, snap! To quote Dylan, the Brown Bird disc 'breaks, just like a little girl.'

Was it my eagerness and heavy man-handling that broken the CD rather than easing it gently and wooing it from it's casing? Most probably.

Or was it in this day and age, as CD sales drop in the face of downloads, manufacturers cut corners and construction gets flimsy… I don't blame you Brown Bird, I blame the system.

Feeling jilted, I jumped straight online to find your torrent. Alas as a small act, your discovery by a prospecting punter is real gold* and the price of gold is high for its rare and exclusive qualities, not for its ubiquitous torrent. I did dig up a file called 'Brown Bird at the Nave' but the progress bar didn't move beyond infinity. And that's fools gold.
Sadly I've lost my nugget of Brown Bird but I can say I discovered you before the inevitable gold rush. In the interim I'm not so much panning for gold, but washing the pans... in silence.

Kind regards,


*I'm dropping the 'virgin' thing and reclaiming the gold analogy 'cos when you start talking about the price of virgins on the internet the FBI start knockin' – or so I've heard.

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