Death Vessel / Jose Gonzaléz / The Books @ Bowery Ballroom

3 great bands. 1 great night. Death Vessel is Joel Thibodeau and he was backed up by a band tonight to expand his melodic songs of interesting structures with off tempos. They matched his haunting voice that comes out as an unexpected high croon like a girl. Pleasantly surprising performance.

What a treat to see Jose Gonzaléz again. The stage was set with a lonseome chair (in slightly better condition that the age-worn chair at Joe’s) and 2 mics. One for his guitar and one to amplify his foot tapping. The crowd fell silent as soon as he plucked his first note. Luckily I was in the front row again. Rarely is the Bowery Ballroom this silent. The sound was more intense than at Joe’s, but just as delicate. It’s amazing to see a solo performer with a guitar mesmerize an entire audience. He played pretty much the same set as on Wednesday but with the addition of 2 new songs including an instumental. He even got a encore for an opening act.

I’ve slowly started to get really into The Books. Previous to the show I was at the Metropolitan Museum of Art checking out the Robert Rauschenberg’s Combines and it was an approrpriate precursor for the Books. Their blend of unique samples taken from audio recordings and videos into surreal arrangements is masterfuly done. On their new record they bring out the use of vocal and stringed instruments and successfuly pulled it off on stage. They had interesting videos collected from their touring displayed behind them which added to the fragmented nature of the music. Their sense of composition and word-plays are delightful and although not a ground-breaking live performance, a truly enjoyable and fun night. A perfect evening of art, video, and music.

My camera is still dead but Kieran next to me got some shots. Check out her photos and good review.

Death Vessel. MP3: deep in the horchata
Jose Gonzalez.
The Books. A great website to get lost in