Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Wax Museum Mesmorizes

Last Saturday night, David Wax Museum played one of more inspiring shows the Narrows has seen in quite some time. This troupe(not just a musical band) mixed deft songwriting, very cool instrumentation and brilliant showmanship in crafting a great night of music. We knew David was a talented guy, he opened for Rhett Miller at the Narrows in March. He played solo and impressed Rhett to the point of him taking David on the road with him. They played Newport Folk last year to  rave reviews. But this show really blew me away.

The core of the band is David Wax who generally plays a jarana (a Mexican instrument that looks and plays like a guitar) and Suz Slezak who plays fiddle and a percussion instrument called quijada (it's a donkey jawbone). It sounds a little whack and it is but the music is very accessible in a good way. They mix Mexican Folk, Americana and pure pop to craft their own unique sound. At the Narrows show(which is now being streamed here they were augmented by three other musicians who moved easily between accordian, piano, drums, bass and guitar.

The show had a cabaret element. During one number the band left the stage and paraded through the crowd playing and singing in a most joyous state. The group separated and David was singing in the gallery while the band played in various areas of the performance space. They shifted very dramatically to a duo piece with David at the piano singing the beautiful balled "Lavender Street" which contains the heartfelt lyric "I need you you like the ground needs the rain, how it pours when you say my name". Then have a great new cd "Everything is Saved" which they drew liberally from. Do yourself a favor and check these guys out. We look forward to a return sometime in the fall.

Essential listening: Justin Townes Earle- Harlem River Blues  It's a killer record with a mix of hillbilly, blues, and folk tunes. The title track romps with a Johnny Cash beat and Justin joyously singing "I'm going up to the Harlem River to drown, dirty water going to cover me over and I'm not going to make a sound" It sounds macabre but it is actually quite liberating.

Reissue- Love-Forever Changes -classic psychedelic pop, a forgotten record that needs to be heard

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