25 March 2012

Holcombe Waller & The Magnetic Fields @ The Neptune, Seattle, WA, 3/22/2012

There’s few things more rewarding than being a dedicated (and bold) fan. I was first in line at the Neptune, and when I got in it wasn’t a frantic race to the front, so I took a leisurely stroll up there, got to enjoy the empty venue to myself for a second before marking my territory front-center stage. I chatted a bit with the people around me so they’d hold my place.

I was at the merch booth srsly salivating over a colored vinyl copy of “Love at the Bottom of the Sea” and the last Holcombe Waller album I never got, when Holcombe just popped up out of nowhere and I was like, “um, hi?”

And I go into blubbering fangirl mode (“such a big fan”/”love your stuff”/”this song blew me away”/”you go on my mixtapes”/”loved ya from the beginning”/misc. squeeing)

He was like ORLY? when Boom! I whip out the press release full-length demo of his first album.
He was like, amazed: “Where did you get that?? I sold out of those a long time ago… I made this when I was 23! They’re going for $50 on ebay now. Wow… you really weren’t kidding!” He seemed really happy :)
I offered a sharpie and he joyfully signed it:

<3 June!
Thank you for making
my day! I still
love this album!!
H Waller <3

To top it off he said, “Did you get my last album?” I said “No, I—” but before I could finish he just gave me one (listening to Into The Dark Unknown now!!)
And then asked me for a request from the demo.
I swooned over a favorite, and his eyes lit up and he was like “yeah we can definitely do that, if I just go arrange…” and then he gave me a huge hug and scampered off.
He played an amazing set (with my song!) and finished with a cover of “Fast Car," forgetting some of the lyrics, and then laughing it off to his bandmate, “haha, I sound like Jeff Buckley now.”

…and I got his setlist too. FANGIRL HEAVEN!

shadow martyr
risk of ch.
into the dark
—> need +16 min
(baby blue) [played “hands that bathe you”, my request]
i can feel it

The Magnetic Fields:
Stephin is who he is, not one for stage banter or showmanship because the lyrics are enough to pack a hall for two nights. It was a redeeming show for me: I’d only seen them once before, Bumbershoot 2000, when I was standing in the back-corner of a packed opera house, just hearing the dots below.

Twelve years and 4 albums after 69 Love Songs I needed to catch up. The set opened cheerfully enough with “I Die” and was a good mix of material from the new album, 69 LS sing-along favorites, and oldie-classics from Charm of the Highway Strip, Holiday, and Distant Plastic Trees.

Claudia noted the theme of the tour was “marriage and death. Not necessarily in that order.”

Always interesting and lovely to hear even his most electronic and synthesized pieces—like the new “Andrew in Drag”—arranged into a 5-piece band with Stephin on Melodica and the rest of the gang standing by in their usual positions (piano, guitar, cello, ukelele). They said their next video will be for the song “Quick.”

I hope it comes out… quick! :) in the meantime, Imma scan the internets for photos of tonight’s show and if I find some good ones (and a setlist) I’ll share!