People + Pwrfl Power + Zeke Healy + Ill Ease + Ric Leichtung at Death By Audio

Post Author: , Nate Dorr

Enertainment4every1 organizes shows in Brooklyn. On Thursday, they did something Death by Audio is not particularly used to, by throwing a quasi-acoustic, singer songwriter-suggestive show that played with a sense of coherency between artists until People blew out any consistency there might have been with their sinewy, epileptic song structures. It worked.

Ric Leichtung’s began the evening with awkward banter about cannibalism (if it was freezer packed and anonymous, maybe human would make you hungry?) and quick-fire guitar and bleating vocals that seemed somewhat reminiscent of Dave Longstreth, if the Dirty Projector smoked whiskey-laced tobacco sticks and howled at the moon more often.

The Reverend Gary Davis came to mind momentarily for Zeke Healy’s steel guiar set, until my scant knowledge of traditional folk music (“I know a lot of hymns,” Healy noted, just after checking his cell phone mid-song) was quickly exceeded by the technical adept elision of bluegrass, folk, and what to my ears was a grasp towards atonal melodies.

We’ve had a hard time pinning down Pwrfl Power. His charm is ultimately the confusion he’s able to conjure up- we’re not used to his particular brand of folk music coding, with lyrics that are either blindingly earnest or deeply tongue-in-cheek, delivered with perfect tonality and classical-trained guitar picking. They’re songs with truly infectious melodies and lyrics you’re not quick to relinquish. Check the links at the top of the paragraph for more on that.

People, usually a duo consisting of Mary Halvorson and Kevin Shea, was a trio last night that included a bass player. On top of the additional low-end activity Kevin Shea added aditional weight to his playing so that what Nate Dorr once noted about his style was only half true:

Those drums are remarkably frenetic, though, especially given that Shea keeps them from ever overwhelming the rest of the components, despite playing about twice as many beats as the songs would seem to require.

Maybe he was feeling aggro after having already played two other shows that same evening. Whatever the reasons, People were loud and hard(er) and it was a propulsive end to a relatively placid evening.