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Last Night

Mt. Eerie at the Eagle Rock Center: A Spell, a Tone, a Feeling

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Tue, Sep 22, 2009 at 10:00 AM

View more photos in the "Mt. Eerie @ Eagle Rock Center For Arts" slideshow.

There's a line in the David Bowie song, "Five Years," that goes, "It was cold and it rained so I felt like an actor," which somehow set a tone for Sunday night's K Records show at the Eagle Rock Center for the Arts. Mt. Eerie performed, and lived up to the sentiment of its name. Atmospheric would be the best way to describe the dreamy lullaby type music, except that Eerie's version is punctuated by moments of off-cuff -- dare I say, heavy metal? -- bridge changes.

click to enlarge Mt. Eerie at the Eagle Rock Center for the Arts - TIMOTHY NORRIS
  • Timothy Norris
  • Mt. Eerie at the Eagle Rock Center for the Arts

click to enlarge Karl Blau - TIMOTHY NORRIS
  • Timothy Norris
  • Karl Blau

Sunday night Phil Elverum, who is Mt. Eerie, invited every musician who opened the show join him onstage. 'I'm not going to introduce you guys, okay?,' He announced, looking behind him at the large collection of peers standing at his back. "This is my first time playing with a band."

click to enlarge Tara Jane O'Neil - TIMOTHY NORRIS
  • Timothy Norris
  • Tara Jane O'Neil

But hopefully not the last. Elverum used to make music as the the Microphones, but with the band on Sunday night, his beautiful voice felt highlighted in a way that it hasn't been prior, at least not as Mt. Eerie. The wall of sound created by the musicians -- the equally dreamy No Kids; the strange, spoken word poetry/music project of Karl Blau; and the sad guitar ballads of Tara Jane O'Neil -- revealed the vulnerability of Eerie's quiet performances to create something larger and more robust.

click to enlarge Phil Elverum, aka Mt. Eerie - TIMOTHY NORRIS
  • Timothy Norris
  • Phil Elverum, aka Mt. Eerie

Elverum played the new Mt. Eerie album, Wind Poems in its entirety, offering up lyrics about Twin Peaks (as in special agent Dale Cooper), love, death and nature, an odd mix of pop culture and morbidity. The tone seemed to place the entire audience under a spell. Couples moved in closer, then started marathon rounds of PDA. Strangers began to eye each other from across the room. The mood was hushed and hallucinatory, and the entire audience swayed in unison to the long reverie.

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