Gush: Damien Jurado

Have you heard of Damien Jurado? I saw the guy play a few years back at Sasquatch! Music Festival. He must’ve been in a bad mood because after noodling around in his brief soundcheck he stormed off the stage. It took a fan to hop in front of the mic to publicly beg Jurado to please his fans. He plugged through the set and offered a half apology for his displeasure.

This performance got me. I get the challenges of turning it on for people. It ain’t easy.

Here I provide a short list of albums Jurado loves. I’m surprised by the list’s diversity and his sweet memories of how he stumbled upon each one.

Jurado’s playing the Garrison on May 30, 2016.

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Gush/Sasquatch! aftermath five: Neko Case on Alabama Shakes

For those of you who hang on to my blog with each post: you know my experience seeing Neko Case in her home state, Washington. Elle writer, Hilary Hughes, gushed that Case’s set was one of the highlights of her year in live music. I’m not sure if I’m with her 100% there, but it was a lovely time. It’s going to take the most intimate of intimate Neko Case shows to top her Trinity St. Paul gig of 2009.

Here’s Neko’s response to Hughes’ comment and her gush takeover on Alabama Shakes:

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And an essential Neko Case read on one of her biggest fears

 

Sasquatch! aftermath four: Josh Homme, ahem, Queens of the Stone Age

I’ve never ever got into Queens of the Stone Age, but as the final main stage act, I felt a little compelled to go. Their sound was flawless and cool. I was able to recognize a few tunes that were popular enough to reach my Much Music-loving years in the early 00s.

As a non-smoker, the idea of smoking is not something I find attractive in the slightest, however for some reason Queens of the Stone Age frontman made it look good. He managed to sing a tune, smoke a cigarette, and play guitar.

Here’s something he did last night, alone. I wouldn’t mind a solo project from Homme.

Probably very planned, but his wife and the frontwoman of the Distillers had an earlier spot performer under her own name, Brody Dalle.

And of course there’s a tumblr titled ‘JoshHommehavingafag,’ here’s a shot from it:

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Sasquatch! 2014 aftermath one: The National

I owe this blog a bit more than what I have given here. I had the great privilege (and discipline) to see my favourite band, the National four times in two months – a new record for me! Someone asked me the other day if the band knows who I am at this point – I responded, “No, I’m not the kind of fan to approach band members.” Besides, I think the Reddit AMA meets most of the questions that I’d want answered.

Seeing the National for the tenth time in four years* – that’s six cities, four American states, and one Canadian province that I’ve hung out with the National in. Am I tired of it all? – Not yet.

As soon as I heard that the National were making a stop in Washington State for Sasquatch! and that my pals were keen to go, I knew I had to be there. I did Sasquatch! two years ago in 2012 and it was majestic, easily becoming the most beautiful festival I’ve been to, geographically speaking. Located in a gorge, the entire festival grounds is surrounded by rolling mountains. The main stage of the festival is the Gorge Amphitheater, where gigs are often held at the rest of the year beyond Sasquatch! Bearing many honourary titles for the spectacular sights that accompany, I can certainly agree that I have never been to a more gorgeous spot to see live music. The irony of all of this is that I jammed in so close to the band that I wasn’t actually able to take in the show and the sights. Furthermore, the gig was at 11pm, no rolling hills in sight. So, I guess I was there to see the National, but to take in the gorge in the day time.

It was their usual set of songs, mixed in with old and new songs – but only the crowd pleasing tunes, leaving old bangers like “All the Wine” and “Lucky Me” for a full-length gig. I’ve sort of got to the point where I know what to expect at one of their gigs and I can predict what may happen, they sadly make little changes.

A few differences I observed at this gig:

  • They opened up with “Sea of Love,” which I knew by the harmonica fixed to Aaron’s neck.
  • Matt using the Sasquatch! signage on stage to smash his head into during the very angsty tune “Abel”
  • Multiple audience walk outs by Matt Berninger
  • Due to the time restrictions, the band rushed Matt’s floppy, unpredictable stage presence to plug through the set
  • Like the Massey Hall gigs, Matt smashed the vessel that was carrying his evening’s beverage. This time it was a beer bottle, which likely belonged to one of this band mates.
  • They still ended with “Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks” !!!

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Dwight K Schrute introducing the National at Sasquatch! back in 2008 introducing the National as “the greatest band in rock ‘n’ roll history.”

*see past posts for past gushes:
The National at Coachella April 2011
The National at the Air Canada Centre December 2011
The National at the Beacon Theatre, NY December 2011
The National at Barclay’s Arena, Brooklyn June 2013
The National at NXNE June 2013
The National at Laneway Music Festival, Detroit September 2013
The National at Massey Hall X3 April 2014
The National at Sasquatch! May 2014