Oh boy, I get to teach our jr. high Sunday School class about Paul on the road to Damascus this week. (/sarcasm) Paul is one of my least favorite figures in the Bible… I’m hoping the kids get me way off-topic and we end up chatting about their school life instead.
At the second of her two Austin shows, Friday night at the Central Presbyterian Church, Maines looked ultra-modern in a pompadour haircut and all black clothes. What mattered more was the confidence she found within a new band led by Harper in a set that included covers of songs by Vedder, The Jayhawks, Dan Wilson and others, as well as a couple of catchy originals.
Although the closing guitar duel between Harper on lap steel and Maines’s father Lloyd on pedal steel was fun, the set’s crowning moment came when she dared to try a version of the late Jeff Buckley’s “Lover, You Should Have Come Over.” That sweeping ballad’s technical difficulty is enhanced by the challenge of living up to Buckley’s vocal, which hit otherworldly heights. Fully committing herself, Maines scaled the song’s tricky melody like a free mountain climber, hitting notes that seemed to defy any scale. Immersed in the music, unconcerned about whether she was living up to anyone’s definition of success, Maines presented us with the privilege of witnessing her own internal process of rediscovery.
I’d already signed up to volunteer the late shift Friday night during SXSW at my church, and this lady has been added to the lineup. Yippee!
My sis pointed out today that I haven’t been posting much on Tumblr in recent days, and it won’t improve anytime soon. I imagine I’ll be on Twitter during the fest because I can tweet from my phone. Since Tumblr is slightly finicky on my Kindle, I likely won’t be checking in here much til the festival ends (except to link to stuff I write for Slackerwood).
Also, I’m moving to South Austin the weekend after the fest!
I’d never heard of this band before they performed at my church late Friday night. Two-thirds of the sanctuary had emptied out after Ingrid Michaelson (who was wonderful live, my favorite concert of the year so far), so the trio played to an intimate crowd.
For most of their set they were hooked up to the sound system and sounded great — their harmonies are entrancing! But then they stepped down off the stage and performed a few songs acoustically and it was even better. I ran into one of the guys backstage afterwards and told him how good they sounded.