maura @ 9:04 am
March is almost over, and like most folks in the eastern half of the US I can’t help but think good riddance. It’s been a long weirdly cold winter, so cold we all bought balaclavas (which we can’t help but call baklavas). There was some good snow, so I hate to complain too much, but it was often during times that were difficult to enjoy fully, like overnight or during the commute to work. I’m ready for spring.
Two bright spots in March were concerts! First was Throwing Muses, about which I’ve been writing an epic post in my head for a few months actually, starting to before I got their new record for xmas. So more about that later.
Second was the first night of the Chickfactor shows, the only night we went to because babysitting is expensive. We picked this night because of Amor de Dias and the Jim Ruiz Set, and we were not disappointed even though we were almost late because I read the schedule backwards. The correct schedule was a good thing, because school night curfew is midnight so we ended up having to miss the last band.
To go backwards now, Jim Ruiz Set were great, similar to the last time we saw them two (I think?) years ago. They played the oldies and goodies, “Stormtrooper” will always be a favorite of mine. And the band had a xylophone this time around which was very fun. As they were leaving the stage Jim claimed that this was their last show, that he’s retiring, though I’m pretty sure he’s said that before. We’ll see.
Amor de Dias were fantastic, well worth the wait. We’d tried to see them last year on a tour to support their then-new record, but the entire tour ended up getting canceled when their visas didn’t come through in time. (I just saw on Twitter that the same thing’s happening to Ben Watt right now. What gives with the visa weirdness, US government? It’s just pop music!) Last year’s cancellation made me sad sad sad — Pipas was and Amor de Dias is one of my favorite bands, and while of course we got our tickets refunded it was a huge giant bummer.
They played a good long time, maybe 45 minutes, mostly stuff from the new record but a few gems from their first, including “Bunhill Fields” which I love. Lupe and Alasdair were joined by several special guests to supplement their guitars, first Sam from Magnetic Fields on cello (and the second time this month we’ve seen a show in which Sam was a special guest), then someone from Comet Gain on bass, and finally Pam Berry on vocals. Their music is mostly quiet and contemplative and it was gratifying that folks were into that, there wasn’t much excess talking.
(Wow, this is totally an old person reviewing an old person concert, right? It was so quiet, we didn’t even need earplugs, and we were home by midnight! My bunions were so relieved!)