Monday, June 04, 2007

Sunday Night Recap: Rachael Yamagata, Alice Smith

Sunday, after totally sleeping in, I finally took care of household chores that I'd been neglecting and realized I'd gotten some texts from Jason, a friend who was supposed to be my hookup for Morrissey. Basically he was stuck in LA with my tickets or something. It was actually ok, however, because I had a couple alternate backup plans anyway, and this way I wouldn't have to be a bad daughter (again) and decline dinner with my family. My parents picked me up and we had dinner in PB with my godsister, my sister and brother-in-law. After a few hours of family time, I was home again. After catching the first 5 minutes of the mTV Movie Awards, I would've kicked myself had I sat and continued to watch. But I did see this part:


Anyway, I headed down to 4th & B for the free Camel show (or $22 without the free ticket) with Alice Smith, Rachael Yamagata and Citizen Cope. The Camel events are a little weird. People are mobbing the areas where they were giving away 2 free packs of cigarettes and a drink ticket, and for a Sunday night, I couldn't really believe how many people were there. Outside there was a smoking "patio" set up in the adjoining parking lot that had areas for taking pictures and doing spin art, lounging on black couches while smoking and enjoying complimentary cans of Coke or bottles of water that were set up in coolers around the area. I had no idea what kind of crowd this was...maybe PB? I don't know, but women were fawning over Citizen Cope. When the show started, he came out to introduce Alice Smith and I thought women were going to faint. It was kinda weird.

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I'd never heard of Alice Smith, but a lot of women were up front singing along. Her vocals were a bit too wailing for me, though her range is a lot lower and her voice a lot deeper than the pop princesses, so I wouldn't put her in that same classification. Maybe she'd fit along with Corinne Bailey Ray? I dunno, but not music that does it for me. Part of the problem was that her voice was already low, she was complaining that it was strained when people requested a particular song, and because there was so much activity from the Camel booths, you just really couldn't hear shit. And I was up front and center.

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When Rachael Yamagata came out, the crowd was still pretty loud, but her voice is much louder and not strained when she hits certain notes. Her voice was a little raspier than I'd expected, but I liked it. When I was a little girl, Bonnie Taylor's (thanks lyn) "Total Eclipse of The Heart" left a strong impression on me, and I've always loved that raspiness in chick vocalists...especially when these days so many chicks think that sounding like a whispering 7 year old is the way to go. Rachael seemed a little bothered by the noise, by the fact that their stagetime was cut short because everyone was running late, and by the soundguy not fixing this springy sound in her guitar, but I guess since I read her blog, she's such a real, normal, down to earth person to me that I felt for I would've been pissed, too. She was funny at times, commenting on her outfit "I'm like an orange sherbet gone bad," and I know she's been struggling to make her second album so it was good to get a glimpse. Her lyrics and themes remind me of Fiona Apple or Patti Rothberg (anyone remember her??)...half pissed off at being wronged, half broken hearted at being so betrayed. I was happy to finally see Rachael live, though I'm hugely disappointed that she didn't get to the last two songs on her setlist. The whole reason I was there was to hear "Reason Why". I also would've liked to hear her do "Firefly" since I've heard Rhett Miller do it solo. Ah well, next time. It was still a great show and I was glad to have gone.

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After her set, I decided to leave, to avoid all the bros in the crowd starting to make their way up to the front. I saw a couple friends on my way out but I didn't feel like sticking around so it was a quick hello and goodbye and I was gone.

I hoped to catch The Henry Clay People at the Zombie, but when I realized the time, I instead headed home, and had to put all my freshly laundered bedding back on the bed. With fresh sheets and an exhausting weekend, it should've been a good night's sleep, but somehow Adam Gimbel was haunting me with spelling bee words...

For Tricia's review of the Morrissey show, click here.


lyn said...

do you mean bonnie tyler for "total esclipse of the heart"? laura brannigan's big single was "gloria".

Rosemary Bystrak said...

oh my god, i even knew that as i typed it. i also called Chris from Illinois Christ. I'm doing well today. Really.

JAX said...

sad you missed the henry clay people. they are absolutely fantastic