LUKE DOUCET at the Rivoli, January 19. Tickets: $6. Attendance: 120. Rating: NNN
like randy newman and maybe Neil Finn, Luke Doucet is a songwriter's songwriter. His fan base bears a ridiculously long list of similarly gifted musicians -- Danny Michel, Andy Stochansky, a Rheostatic or two -- who can't say enough about the Veal frontman's ability to splice a simple thought or emotion with a simple power-pop tune and end up with a something greater than the sum of its parts.
Mia Sheard digs the Vancouverite's compositions so much that she covered one of them, Mexico Texaco, and shot a companion video. Judging by Friday's early turnout for opener Doucet -- supporting Michel over two nights -- the word is spreading.
Alone onstage with his electric guitar, Doucet didn't exactly cut a towering pop figure. But the rewards of the set itself were rich, particularly the way the singer made lyrics snap together like jigsaw pieces. Nothing comes across as scattershot -- Doucet obviously spends as much time agonizing over turns of phrase as he does melody, and that attention to detail is what elevates his stuff.
Sadly, though, his delicate tunes just couldn't get a Friday-night crowd to shut the fuck up -- 30 minutes in and Doucet was nearly inaudible. All the more reason to check him out tonight (Thursday, January 25) along with simpatico talents Shannon Lyon and ex-Killjoy Mike Trebilcock at Ted's. And this time, people, cork it.