Daily Archives: January 6, 2011

Looking back on the gigs of 2010

As I did this time last year, here’s my list of favourite gigs from the year that was 2010:

#5 Emiliana Torrini at the Forum, Melbourne, January 3 – the jungle-drum beating Icelander made me smile all night…

#4 Justin Townes Earle at Corner Hotel, Melbourne, April 16 – he didn’t blow me away as much as on debut in 2009, but his bluegrassy brilliance was still a joy

#3 Dinosaur Jr followed by Pavement at Golden Plains Festival, Meredith Amphitheatre, March 6 – it was a miserable festival weatherwise, but this pairing of acts on the first night gladdened my heart (also of note was the performance of Nashville Pussy the following afternoon)

#2 The Pixies at Festival Hall, Melbourne, March 19 – Playing the Doolittle album in order with a great visual show (perhaps to hide their increasing girth). Again, not as exciting as seeing them for the first time a couple of years ago, but still a great night.

#1 Pavement & Gersey at Palace, Melbourne, March 12 – a dream pairing and both acts were in stand out form. Made me feel a good 15 years younger…

March was certainly a great music month, while the rest of the year was less impressive.

What were your favourite live outings?

453. Ray Lamontagne – “Till the Sun Turns Black”

I am a sporadic purchaser and devourer of British ‘serious’ music mags such as Uncut and Mojo.

The former has a habit of gushingly embracing artists, and one of their pet acts a few years back was this guy.  As a result (and on the advice of a travelling buddy), I picked this album up for a pittance in a Vietnamese CD ‘store’ in early 2008.

I forgot I owned it til last week.  It’s had quite a few listens, and paint me impressed.

Ray has a soft, plaintive voice, and emotes like his life depends upon it. It’s all precious, elegant and engaging.  The orchestration (i.e. some strings and the like) makes this feel intimate and well-balanced. It brings to mind the work of the Buckley clan, and also Ryan Adams‘ less histrionic moments.

The closing, title track is an excellent showcase of his combination of restraint and power (by the way, this is a fan-vid – nicely done):

I can imagine a wonderful live event with Lamontagne playing back to back with Martha Wainwright.  I’d love to be lounging and swaying to that.

File under: No need for sun-block