Bonnie "Prince" Billy & Matt Sweeney. Kim’s downtown. Free in-store show. 3.5.05
A duet in a space not meant to be performed in. Music store consumer grid,isles flooded by 25-35ish scruffy hipsters, nobody going anywhere without a lot of trouble. I feel like an element of plaster poured into a mold.
No elevated stage or lights or forcing the audience to wait interminably to prove that the musicians are superior. The pleasantly envious and/or adoring goggling of the listeners (by gender?) from a power imbalance created partly by the appeal of the music, partly by the appeal of the indie-hero personas, not by the venue. The vibe is close to a house party, except everyone is uncomfortable.
Mountain music adapted to urban indie mind. Totally fluid fusion of elements. The opposite of the going NYC trend of purely gestural referencing / imitation of 80s music.
Though there may be a sardonic quality, it is not at all ill at ease with itself, as Beck is with his references. Mixed feelings flow undefensively, marvelously -- stylistic time made to twist over itself to create an image of the present.