Sunday, February 11, 2007

“In your love, my salvation lies…”

On Wednesday, February 7th I made it out to the Mercury Lounge (my first time there...whoo hoo!) to see Scottish songster, Alexi Murdoch. I actually arrived too early. The website said 9pm, but didn’t specify if that meant doors or show time. I got there at 8:30pm, and was told that doors opened at 9pm. So I stood outside talking to the doorman/bouncer, and essentially was first in line. Those of you who know my crazy concert habits are not surprised. Waiting outside wasn’t so bad. In fact I saw Alexi get out of a cab and into the venue. I got a smile, so I felt all warm a fuzzy for a few minutes.

Since it was freezing cold, they decided to let us in at 8:45pm. I immediately walked into the space where the show was going to be. The space was tiny! It was nothing like I expected. It was like a combination of the main stage and downstairs stage of the Black Cat in DC. Another thing I instantly noticed was James Iha sitting on a bench talking to some of his friends. As many of you may know I am a HUGE Smashing Pumpkins fan. HUGE. I sat down on the same bench a few seats down and nonchalantly started texting away to some of my friends who would care.
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“Fancy seeing you here…”

In about 10 minutes a group of guys came in and sat next to me, James was friends with them and so at that point he was reachable to me. I still pretended to be uninterested. A part of me wanted to say something to him, but what? I mean when faced with such greatness how can you not sound like a tool? It was a similar (not entirely the same, but close) to eating about 5 feet from the members of Radiohead at Café Milano (DC). What can you say? So I settled for making eye contact and getting a head nod that says, “Hey.” Good enough for me.

James and his friends were there to see the opening act, Midnight Movies. A band from LA that has a sound that is reminiscent of the 60s and the lead singer Gena Olivier sounds like Nico, if Nico were American. I really liked this band. I found it odd they were touring with Alexi Murdoch, since they sound so different. But was pleased I was exposed to a fabulous new band. Their second album is being released this April. This is the video for their song “Patient Eye”:

So after Midnight Movies performance Alexi took the stage. The venue, if you remember was small. So small in fact there was no backstage behind the stage. So the musicians have to walk through the crowd and up the side set of stairs to get on stage. On stage it was just him and another guy, whose name totally has escaped me. Dammit! I am normally pretty good about remembering names. The gentlemen plowed through most of Alexi’s only album, Time Without Consequence. A phenomenal album if you do not own it. They played 3 or 4 songs together and then Gena, Sandra Vu, and Ryan Wood of Midnight Movies joined them on stage.
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Some of the highlights for me were “Breathe,” “Love You More,” and the song where he sounds most like Nick Drake, “Orange Sky.” My favorite song he played that night was “Shine.” So good. He even surprised us by playing some new stuff. He did not play my favorite song, “Wait.” Which might be the saddest song I have heard in a while, it even rivals Sun Kil Moon’s song “Carry Me Ohio” for being the most heart wrenching.

Instead of leaving the stage and returning for an encore he made a joke about the smallness of the venue and told us he was just going to stay on stage and he’ll pretend we cheered him back on.

The show overall was fabulous. At this point in time Alexi’s following is small. I really feel that he will take off if he continues on the path he is going. You might have heard his music on “The OC,” “Prison Break,” and in the movie “Garden State” (but not on the soundtrack). If you get a chance to see him on this tour, then do it. Right now he is playing, small intimate venues…from what I can tell. Which is perfect for his style of music. This is the kind of music you want to be wrapped in a warm blanket (preferably snuggling with a sweetie) listening to. His soothing voice just calms you. He invites you to put your life on hold and just reflect. And who doesn’t need that from time to time?


Alexi singing “All My Days” on Last Call with Carson Daly:

Alexi’s Site:

Midnight Movies’ site:

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