The Wellingtonista

Random stuff about Wellington since 2005

Alt.country at the Bathhouse

by stephen clover on April 14, 2007 in Events, Music

American alt.country legends Richard Buckner and Edith Frost are playing together at the San Francisco Bathhouse on Wednesday night.

There are three kinds of American folk artist: those who sit, contented, on a back porch contemplating America’s landscape and ways; those for whom its landscape and ways are something to stand against or move boldly through; and those whose America is a shadowy, impressionistic place that moves inside of them. This [latter] is the area that the sombre-voiced Richard Buckner has been exploring since 1984 –(Sylvie Simmons; The Guardian, 2004)

Richard Buckner is the true ‘American Wanderer’. The American landscape is the backdrop he moves against (literally as well as figuratively; he’s been traveling the North American continent for two decades now) and his relationship to it is shifting and ambiguous, a complicated state of existing within and without a country that is impossible to escape from unscathed. He’s worked alongside and recorded with Calexico, Giant Sand, Neko Case among many others, and he’s been described by Howe Gelb as having “one of the finest voices on the planet”.

Edith Frost walks a fine line, musically speaking, between sanity and utter madness. Since the nineties she’s been taking the conventions of introspected folk and alt-country and cramming it with such kitsch oddities and childlike arrangements as occur to her along the way. Her voice is the dusty, low pitched croon you might expect of an old-time country heartbreaker, but this is a woman who also digs on Blondie and has no qualms about forcing the glaring city lights of New Wave onto the quiet country and folk roads that underpin her music. Edith featured on the Drag City super session, alongside Bill Callahan, Brendan Murphy, Rian Murphy and Jim O’Rourke.

This is a show not to be missed.

RICHARD BUCKNER, EDITH FROST + GUESTS
WEDNESDAY 18th APRIL
SAN FRANCISCO BATHHOUSE

Tickets are $25 plus booking fee, available from Slow Boat Records in Cuba Street.

Links:
MySpace pages for Richard Buckner and Edith Frost.

Stephen Clover

Stephen Clover swears too much, drinks too much, and is frequently being sent not-safe-for-work weblinks by his amusing friends. He lives for music and art. He also worships at the same church as Tom Beard.

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