Sunday, September 16, 2018

Vagabon Finds A Home

VAGABON
GETTY MUSEUM
LOS ANGELES, CA
15 SEPTEMBER, 2018

As part of the Off The 405 series, the Getty Museum played host to a special performance by Laetitia Tamko, AKA Vagabon. Accompanied by an expanded group, including a string trio, vocals/french horn accompaniment from Sasami Ashworth, and a bass assist from Emily Elhaj (Angel Olsen band), Vagabon brought new life to a small but vibrant catalogue, focusing on debut album Infinite Worlds (Father Daughter Records), with "Fear and Force" being a standout.



VAGABON























Saturday, August 25, 2018

"...yours truly, Jens Lekman"

JENS LEKMAN
DENT MAY
LODGE ROOM, HIGHLAND PARK, LA
21 AUGUST, 2018

It's been almost six years since we last caught up with Jens Lekman, but as always, no matter how many times you see him, his never-ending supply of twists and left-turns guarantee that a different prism is applied to even the most familiar. Continuing a trend of appearances at Masonic Lodges, the cozy confines of Highland Park's Lodge Room served as Jens HQ on this evening. With support in the form of a rare solo appearance from Dent May, it was a night of quality. A decent early turnout gathered for May, focusing on latest release Across The Multiverse (Carpark Records), a celebratory examination of the Mississippi native's move to/embrace of LA. Peak moment was instantly falling in love with the soaring "90210", and "Born Too Late" from 2013's Warm Thoughts was also a standout.

Even after all this time, the work of Jens Lekman, given its often uncomfortable intimacy, is something of a private vice. It's always an eye-opener to be among a like-minded crowd who've dug themselves away from dark rooms and emerged blinking, to celebrate their man. Setting the tone immediately with an earnest cover of the Lovin' Spoonful's "Do You Believe In Magic" was a nice reminder that his best shows are a testimony to immediacy, a healthy respect for the moment. Over the course of the set, the shaggy-dog stories we fell for have sharpened into explorations of the human condition. Lekman has been pushing at the boundaries of the traditional album release cycle, with projects such as Postcards, his song-a-week cycle over the course of a year, and this year's Correspondence, an ongoing musical dialogue with Annika Norlin that yielded early set notable "Forever Beautiful, Forever Young". Shouting out a couple at center stage, Charlie and Linda, who were marking their 35th or 36th Jens show, his choice of "Your Arms Around Me" might have raised eyebrows to outsiders, but made perfect sense to the veterans. Dipping firmly into the back catalogue, but keeping it fresh, he essayed "Julie" in his native Swedish, then brought the tempo up with a rousing "The Opposite of Hallelujah".

The centerpiece of the set involved the unveiling of interpretive dancers for "What's That Perfume You Wear', from his most recent LP, 2017's Life Will See You Now, and they lent an entrancing vibe. A silky segue into "Sipping On The Sweet Nectar" provided the dance floor release the audience was seeking. Granting an encore, Jens spun "Maple Leaves" into "I Want A Pair Of Cowboy Boots", followed by a luminous "Shirin". The sold-out crowd wasn't letting him off that easy, and the second encore of "Rocky Dennis' Farewell Song" was even more well received, setting up the perfect close with his certifiable anthem, "A Postcard To Nina".




JENS LEKMAN













DENT MAY