And sometimes that start is much closer to that end than anyone expected.
My friend Geoff invited me out today to see a special radio performance by the Editors. Geoff is actually the reason I got a hold of their excellent second album, titled An End Has a Start (by no small coincidence, like the knew I needed a title to this post!). I had thought their debut record, The Back Room, was an okay selection for a melancholy mood but too placid to leave a greater impression. An End Has a Start is a much more energetic and varied effort, with catchy hooks and a warmer atmosphere. It shows the benefit of having one record under their belt and probably eons working on their musical chops out on the road.
So, an invite to a 94.7 KNRK studio session sounded like a great idea. Better yet, it was at Mississippi Studios, a wonderful smaller venue here in Portland. The room was set up by a recording engineer to go with his recording studio, and so the sound is always excellent.
As were the Editors. They came out as a duo, two guys on acoustic guitars, singer Tom Smith and guitarist Chris Urbanowicz. They played "Bones," "An End Has a Start," and "Smokers Outside the Hospital Doors," and it sounded incredible. Urbanowicz's playing is super tight, and Smith's voice is gorgeous in a raw, live environment.
But they just did those three songs. That was it. It seemed like a lot of effort to get everyone there (though the room was barely 2/3 full) just to shuffle them off again.
We stuck around after for the second band, Louis XIV, who is opening for the Editors on tour. They took something like a hour to set up for their performance, which seems a bit excessive. They ended up having five guys on stage--a vocalist/guitarist, a pianist/guitarist/second vocalist, drummer, and two violin players. The violins sounded sweet, actually, but then they just played four songs, and I really didn't understand why they had to make everyone wait as they chased perfection if they weren't going to nurture it and let it simmer for a while. Their playing was proficient, but the songs did very little for me. The lead vocalist was one of those speak singers and instead of sounding cool like old Bob Dylan I was getting a whole G. Love & Special Sauce vibe. If it hadn't been for the free pizza and conversation I got in the interim, I'd have been pissed.
Current Soundtrack: The Editors, An End Has a Start
Current Mood: dismissive
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All text (c) 2008 Jamie S. Rich