Fri November 8, 2013
Doors: 7:30pm / Show: 8:30 pm
About the Event:
Singer, songwriter and frontman for indie folk icons The Decemberists performs a rare solo set at the Variety Playhouse.
As a member of the acclaimed group the Decemberists, Colin Meloy has established himself as one of indie rock’s most gifted (and charmingly idiosyncratic) singer/songwriters. Meloy has also proven himself an intriguing solo artist, embarking on his first solo tour—a mix of covers and acoustic songs from the Decemberists’ catalogue—in early 2005. Coinciding with the tour, Meloy issued a limited-release EP, Colin Meloy Sings Morrissey, containing Morrissey covers filtered through Meloy’s one-of-a-kind sensibility.
At a time when most female singer-songwriters perform as alter egos, Eleanor Friedberger is simply, refreshingly herself. And that’s just the way her fans like it. Having spent the last decade fronting the indie-rock institution The Fiery Furnaces (currently on hiatus) with her brother Matthew, in 2011 she emerged as a formidable solo artist with Last Summer, a thoughtfully crafted tale of memory and place couched in the organic pop of her ’70s idols. Instantly, Friedberger established herself as a modern-day heir to the tradition of Donovan, Todd Rundgren, Ronnie Lane, and their ilk: warm, nuanced, timeless songs. No gimmicks necessary.
The title of Friedberger’s sophomore album is Personal Record, and it is, in a sense. Personal, that is. But not personal in the way of, say, a coming-of-age record, or a diary about the past, which Last Summer was. Many of the songs seem to be about love, or love lost, but whether any of the experience is hers or someone else’s, she isn’t saying. “It’s not as specific a narrative this time,” she says. “There’s a universality to it.” So incisive are the lyrics, in fact, that Friedberger’s bassist incorrectly assumed that two of the songs were about him. “I loved that,” she says. “I want him to feel like the songs are about him. I want you to feel like the songs are about you.”