Last week Saintseneca came back to town for the first time since last April’s show at the Circle Bar. Despite the release of their excellent third record, New Orleans is still not showing them the respect they deserve. The Columbus based ensemble brought Aimée Argote's Des Ark project along with them this trip. Together the two groups offered a powerhouse evening of gleeful indie folk storytelling. Personally, Des Ark was a revelation for me. I had heard Argote’s music before, but as a live presence she is relaxed and perfectly affable. Her self deprecating anecdotes built excellent transitions between arrangements that rocked much harder live than their studio counterparts. It’s always a fun moment when the crowd swells during an opening act as folks who have drifted outside or to other parts of the room are drawn back to the stage by a magnetic performer. For her part Argote knows how to draw and hold a crowd.
Saintseneca are one of the most underrated groups on the current indie circuit. It is baffling to me that this group does not command a larger following. Hopefully their full slate of festival shows this summer will raise their profile a bit more. What makes a Saintseneca show so great is the sheer talent of the performers. The show is a juggling act with Zac Little and Maryn Jones trading leads, instruments and even positions. The harmonies on their new record Such Things really shine. The group is able to bring this huge sound with them on the road. Little’s voice sits perfectly between more traditional Americana acts and the contemporary indie sound without ever feeling forced or kitschy. On the whole their sound that is quite full and perfectly crafted. Hopefully they will continue to visit us to ever increasing crowds.
A few nights after Saintseneca, Chicago based newcomers Marrow stopped by Gasa to kick off a tour in promotion of their debut record The Gold Standard. Marrow is certainly a young band, but there is a lot of promise in their sound. They clearly have a wide range of influences. In addition to being one of the principle songwriters for Marrow, singer Liam Kazar is part of Jeff Tweedy and his son Spencer’s project Tweedy. The impact of that collaboration runs deeply through the work that Marrow is doing on this record. Fellow vocalist and songwriter Macie Stewart has a clear tone and a great ear for a turn of phrase. As far as get acquainted shows go, this one was an event. All of the elements are in place, I look forward to seeing what we will hear from this young group down the road.
To Do This Week
On Friday, kick off Mardi Gras with Barry Manilow at the Smoothie King Center or catch Dr. John out at Family Gras in Metairie. On Saturday G-Easy will be at the Joy Theater and Robert Earl Keen will be at the House of Blues. On Sunday the huge Tool and Primus tour comes to the Smoothie King Center. Monday the excellent Diet Cig will be with Bully at Gasa Gasa. This will be an outstanding night of music (see my interview with Alex from Diet Cig here). On Tuesday, Dave Mason will be at the house of blues.
Don’t forget that Family Gras will be running all weekend with Dr. John on Friday, Big Sam and The Monkees on Saturday and Amanda Shaw and Johnny Rivers on Sunday.
To Listen This Week
Wolf Alice (whose My Love is Cool) was one of my top 10 records of last year stopped by NPR to do a Tiny Desk performance via Youtube.
Father John Misty dropped a new track that was originally written for a Colbert sketch that was cut via Soundcloud.
Best Coast released a cover of Nirvana’s “Dumb”