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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Sea and Cake & Matthew Friedberger Live Review Littlefield 10/21/1

Matthew Friedberger of the Firery Furnaces opened the show with a very conceptual set of solo material. He quickly divided the audience between those up for a challenging set and those who weren't in for that kind of an evening. As he paced back and forth from keyboard to keyboard explaining he would write a song in the moment, some headed back for a drink in the front room while other eagerly listened. Friedberger would play dissonant minor chords, amble over and push play on a loop, and hide behind his hair while continuing to ask us, wouldn’t it be great if he created a song in the moment? He shared stories about graveyards, visits from his deceased great grandfather who came to him in a dream, and sometimes, there were hints of songs. Occasionally, throughout the set, a full song of looped music would surface and he would accompany the tunes with some operatic vocals. Friedberger will be on the road supporting his new 45-track album entitled Matricidal Sons of Bitches due out October 30th on Thrill Jockey.

Next up was The Sea and Cake. They took the stage and launched into a string of tunes from their new album Runner.  The new songs are fantastic and the band sounded extremely solid live. I didn’t know the band shared drummer John McEntire of Tortoise. He kept perfect meter for the tunes while adding just the right amount of energy to their live set. Singer, guitarist Sam Prekop started out most of the tunes building up a rhythm  of guitar grooves, then adding his lovely, whispered, and dreamy vocals to the swelling sounds. Guitarist Archer Prewitt was armed with an ebow, which he would use to create intricate layers. He was placed center stage and the audience seemed enthralled with watching him and listening to his passionate guitar playing. The set featured many tunes off the new record, but the band balanced this with peppered in tunes from their extensive back catalog, to the crowds great enjoyment. They played tracks from their debut, The Biz, The Fawn, Car Alarm, Everybody, The Moonlight Butterfly and even a track off their Glass EP. While enjoying their set I noticed the musical couple Ira Kaplan and Georgia Hubley of Yo La Tengo were also in attendance. It was a beautiful evening of music, I highly recommend catching a show.

Sea and Cake Setlist
The Invitation
On and On
A Mere
Jacking the Ball
The Staircase
Window Sills
Cross (?)
New Patterns
The Argument
An Echo In
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The Runner

Matthew Friedberger

Archer Prewitt  
John McEntire

The Sea and Cake