Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Windy & Carl, Benoit Pioulard, Lambs Laughter at Oxfam Cafe

Windy & Carl

Benoit Pioulard

Lambs Laughter

More images on Flickr.

Last night was like a lucid dream. I was aware of my surroundings and able to control my body but actually hearing Windy & Carl live was nothing short of spectacular. Coupled with the strange visuals projected during each performance, I was forced to doubt whether or not it was actually happening.

Lambs Laughter started the show off. I saw them (read: Windy and Thomas Meluch of Benoit Pioulard) play at Brainwaves in November and it was fantastic. Their performance last night was just as good. Super droning with little to no plucking of strings which made every smooth and organic. At times, the music sounded almost like some sort of blackened ambient doom but then they would snap right back to the sunny harmonic drone. The last song was entirely a cappella and their voices echoing together sounded beautiful.

They were off stage for less than 5 minutes before Meluch came back to perform as Benoit Pioulard. His was truly astounding, forming all sorts of magical sounds from his guitar and array of pedals. Performing alone, he had to create the loops on the spot for the foundation of his songs. Then he would sing in that inimitable voice that sounds slightly Irish and slightly like Julian Koster. Hearing him live is nothing like listening to one of his records. It's a much fuller and more dramatic experience.

The best way to enjoy Windy & Carl would be to lie on your back spread eagle in the middle of an enormous open field where the grass is greener than it should be and the breeze is keeping you perfectly cool on an otherwise too hot day. I had to settle for the second best scenario. Sitting curled up in a ball, holding my knees to my chest with my head down while Windy & Carl played less than 2 feet in front of me. It seriously felt like I was in a dream. Their drones are simultaneously soporific and uplifting, a magnificent combination.

They're still on tour for another month or so, heading down the coast to NY, Richmond, Asheville, Atlanta, Lexington before they head west. It's a given that everyone should see them live, but as an extra incentive, they're selling a limited edition tour 12" (500 copies) with hand painted and screened covers. You know you need one.

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