SUNNY DAY REAL ESTATE
Guvernment, Tues, July 4
Breaking up, it seems, can do wonders for your band's career. Take Sunny Day Real Estate.
When singer Jeremy Enigk discovered Christ a few years back, the group's rhythm section of Nate Mendel and Will Goldsmith split to join the Foo Fighters while guitarist Dan Hoerner bought the farm -- as in a real farm in upstate Washington.
But with the release of their gorgeous and orchestral The Rising Tide disc (Time Bomb), a reformed Sunny Day Real Estate is more popular than ever, although, admittedly, their following is still pretty small by mainstream standards.
The group packed a smoke-free Guvernment on Tuesday, and abetted by a touring bassist and keyboardist, Enigk, Goldsmith and Hoerner (Mendel didn't rejoin) flattened with beautiful songs beautifully played. Though most were lifted from the new disc, all came gently wrapped in Enigk's weightless falsetto. By the time the group wandered into the sorrowful Tearing At My Heart, tears were being shed. Powerful stuff.
Ted's, Wed, July 5
Chantal Kreviazuk loves him so much, she guested with him during showcases last week at Ted's Wrecking Yard. Sony pulled out the stops to make sure local media saw the shows, reviewed the record, interviewed him or all three. His career is being guided by the folks who also work with U2. So who the hell is Paddy Casey?
An Irish singer/songwriter of considerable, if not mind-blowing, talent, in the Mike Scott/Van Morrison vein. Gigging in support of his Amen (So Be It) disc, Casey faced off against media and regular folks alike during the second of two nights on College last week.
While it's still questionable how big our man will become -- even with the massive behind-the-scenes push -- it's nice to know that the corporate machine can still find room for a guy who makes honest music straight from his heart.
Rivoli, Mon, July 10
Evidently, prolonged exposure to Goo Goo Dolls videos can be damaging to your appearance.
While most of the folks at the Rivoli Monday for emerging singer/songwriter James Michael's showcase came to hear the music, many were audibly awed by his eerie resemblance to Goo Goo singer Johnny "Vain is my middle name" Rzeznik, right down to the makeup, coiffed blond hair, skin-tight shiny pants and tank top. No evidence of major plastic surgery, though.
The Michigan-born, Cali-based Michael -- whose solo debut, Inhale, drops this fall -- gave a tight if predictably staid set (let's face it: it's hard to get worked up for a bunch of industry geeks) that neatly underlined his sharp songwriting and ear for catchy melodies.
Still, despite the music, the looks thing was distracting. As one unimpressed wag put it, "I keep expecting him to break into Iris."
Horseshoe, Mon, July 10
Same night, new soul sista Kina, a powerhouse L.A.-based singer, funked up the Horseshoe in an effort to spread the word about her self-titled debut album.
A full band with backing singers notwithstanding, Kina -- obviously high priority for the DreamWorks label -- belted with passion, authority and lots of warm, gracious smiles. And while she may not have the gritty appeal of a Macy Gray -- an obvious reference point -- Kina has more charisma than a woman as good-looking as she is deserves to have.