Lost in the Trees

15 Apr

I have forgotten to write this us for the past few weeks, and it is finally time.

So a couple of weeks ago I went to a concert for Lost in the Trees over in Evanston at SPACE theater.  Poor Moon opened, and they were really, really awesome.  Usually during opening acts I sit there and go, “Yeah, yeah, enough already”, with the exception of two other times, but this time I really enjoyed it.

But I want to talk about Lost in the Trees.

Also the violinist’s shoes, because wow.  Wow.

This Ari Picker, lead dude of the band.  He writes the songs, plays guitar, and sings.  He is seriously amazing.

The violinist, who I was sitting right next to, was amazing, and didn’t stand still for a second.  That sleeve she has on the right arm is only on one side.  It was totally made for violin playing, because what is more gorgeous and dramatic than a sweep of fuchsia following every movement of your bow?

Nothing, that’s what.

It took a really long time to figure out how to spell fuchsia.  Whatever.

I don’t have the set list on hand, by which I mean, it’s about three feet away from me on my bed and I don’t feel like getting up to get it.  Sorry.

It was beautiful though.  They played all my favorite songs from the new album and from All Alone in an Empty House.  The new album in particular is my favorite, and it was so haunting, hearing it live.  The recording really cannot compare, even though it has a heartier instrumentation.  On stage, there was a french horn/keyboard/operatic singer, bass/tuba, drums, violin, and Ari, and not once did it feel more sparse or emptier.  In the recordings there are way more strings, but miraculously they were not missed.  Even more mysteriously, it doesn’t sound like there are too many instruments now that I listen to the albums again. Somehow he got the orchestration just right in both permutations of the band.

One of the most amazing moments during the whole show was when they segued from Icy River to Garden, which took the two percussive taps at the end of Icy River and morphed into the rhythmic smacking-of-something-that-sounds-like-wood in the beginning of Garden.  The couplet felt kind of like a bell curve, with an epic swell coming at the end of Icy River, and the swell breaking against Garden, crashing down and washing through the rest of that song.  It was so beautiful.  I can’t even properly describe it, it was so beautiful.

Something I want to say, though: I love the hell out of the new album, on vinyl, over my computer speakers, and on my iPod.  I even love it just remembering how it goes as I’m in class or something.

But live, it was vastly uncomfortable to listen to.  Not in a bad way, I suppose, and I enjoyed the concert very, very much, but I felt bad taking pictures.

I will tell you why since that probably seems strange.

The album is largely about Mr. Picker’s mother and her suicide a few years ago right after he had gotten married.  He described it as a way to make a kind of sacred place for her spirit to live, and it’s probably a way to deal with it and if not make sense with it, and least make sense of how he feels about it.  Even after hearing Andrew Bird’s new album, it’s the most personal album I’ve ever heard.  From what I gather, the man had a rough childhood, but this album isn’t whiny or self-pitying, and it doesn’t dwell on the bad parts.  If anything, it sounds like some way to keep the good memories of his mother safe (pure speculation, I know not what I say etc.).    It is called, after all, A Church That Fits Our Needs, and never have I heard a more fitting album title.

And knowing what I do about the album, it seems like his previous two were leading up to this one.

This woman is amazing.  Wow.

There was a part I remember very vividly, where he sings in Garden:

The birds pick on a woman and her paintings

They pick on her chest

But she keeps breathing

I love her more than words

And I was about to take a picture.  I had my finger on the button, the camera to my eye, and as soon as he said “I love her more than words” I just couldn’t.  God, how can you just listen to something like that?

This is one of my favorites.

And incidentally, this concert was one of my favorites.  We were so close to the stage.  And it’s the first concert where I took pictures!  That’s very exciting.  I’m excited for St. Vincent and Andrew Bird even more now, although I bet the theater where Andrew Bird is performing doesn’t allow camera.

That’s what cameras that look like toys are for.

In any case, Lost in the Trees is an amazing band, you should listen to them if you don’t already.

Also, buy a poster from them by Cecily Perez, because she did a beautiful job for a beautiful band.

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2 Responses to “Lost in the Trees”

  1. efratadenny 15/04/2012 at 5:10 am #

    Nice series of photos..

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