Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Sundance: May I Suggest

[Fest Music] I haven't yet set foot in Park City for reasons I won't bore you with here, but I can tell you that 2008's Sundance Film Festival has hosted some remarkable musicians thus far.

If you're a music lover who is not able to fight the elements and make it up the canyon this year, I urge you to dry those bitter tears.

You don't really want to inadvertently collide with
Slash, Bono, or 50 Cent on Park City’s Main Street on an 8 degree day, do you?

Plus, I'll let you in on a little secret.

Although playing a star-studded festival like Sundance is a wonderful opportunity for everyone invited, many musicians who I have interviewed confess that playing the festival circuit mainly for the benefit of industry types is exhausting and monumentally stressful.

Which means, despite Sundance’s intimate venues, you’ll probably get a better performance out of band X or singer/songwriter Y if you see them on an occasion when they don’t feel like their head is a pressure cooker about to explode.

In any case, here’s a list of musicians who have appeared at Sundance this year to date who I would highly recommend all of you music lovers out there in internet land check out ASAP.

Sub Pop’s Helio Sequence (who lit up the Star Bar on Friday night) will make you feel like you’re enveloped in a blissful cloud of catchy guitar-accented electronic pop.

Sub Pop label mates
Kelley Stoltz and Daniel Martin Moore (who also graced the Star Bar on Friday) are certainly worth a listen as well.

I don’t claim to have any special talent for predicting the future of music, but I have a hunch that Japanese-born jazz vocalist
Emi Meyer (who appeared at the Turning Leaf Lounge on Monday as part of the BMI showcase) could possibly eclipse Norah Jones in popularity.

Califone (who spilt their time between Chicago and LA) are an innovative bluesy experimental band who improvised a soundtrack to a collection of Brent Green’s films called God Builds Like Frank Lloyd Wright: Brent Green and Califone on 3 separate occasions this week. Roots and Crowns, the band’s 2006 release, is one of my absolute favorite releases of this DECADE thus far, so, uh, as you can imagine, I would HIGHLY suggest you procure a copy.

ASCAP showcase at the Star Bar has hosted performances by notable singer/songwriters Jesca Hoop (she grew up Mormon and she nannied for Tom Waits, you know), Sea Wolf, Eef Barzelay of Clem Snide, Charlotte Sometimes, and Jessie Baylin.

All of the above-mentioned folks have amazing pipes. Musically, nothing hooks me like the human voice.

Dusty Rhodes and the River Band also played the Star Bar Tuesday. I adore them because their joyful music always makes me feel like I’m at Mardi Gras.

I’ll make it up the canyon at some point before the festival ends. If you’re eager for more Sundance music coverage, check this blog tomorrow night. (Jenny Poplar)

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