Monday, March 14, 2011

Scene on Stage: The Proud Flesh

Well, actually there was no stage. It was a basement show at a bougie home in scenic Farmington (thanks so much for your hospitality, guy!). This may have made for a better show anyway, since it allowed New Haven hipstercana act The Proud Flesh to showcase their stripped down, acoustic, no mics, minimal percussion, three guys standing and singing version in an environment intimate enough for this to work. I was pretty much enamored of their performance, and it was fun to meet my blog/facebook friends in person. I also got a copy of their CD, Tiny Picture Frames, which I've been listening to exclusively in my car since Friday.

And if that weren't enough to feel good about, two out of three Proud Fleshies from Friday showed up the next night to see my other new friends Kimono Draggin play at stupid Elm Bar, and we got chatting, and somehow got on the subject of press for the band, and they mentioned how annoying it is when journalists don't write anything about their album. And I was like, "is it annoying when I write posts and just focus on a band's handsomeness or our imaginary romance?" And they agree that that was OK too. But I said that now that I had and loved the CD in hard copy, maybe I could say some more things about it. But looking back on what I did say about it five months ago, I'm pleased to realize I had things pretty right the first time (and didn't say any silly about them either!):
The opening track of The Proud Flesh's Tiny Picture Frames, "Lord don't let me," gives a full-on hoedown first impression, but the next several tracks are much more stripped down, melancholic and haunting (just the way we like it), bringing to mind national acts we enjoy, like Murder by Death and Bright Eyes, or The Snake The Cross The Crown, who most of you have never heard of, but should have. Check out Tiny Picture Frames at bandcamp... and if you don't dig the busy first song, skip ahead to the glorious gloom and doom of "Gold Leaf and Bone" or "Three Sheets," because wallowing in it is more your thing (it's totally our thing).
I'd say the same thing today! Same favorite songs, same band comparisons. But if there is any question as to whether my critical faculties are intact, or maybe I'm just sucking up because I like the band personally and hope for more party invites, I'll add a few less favorable remarks - so you'll know my overall enthusiasm is sincere. I don't love the female vocals that are included on several tracks. I don't know who she is, and I'm sure she's very nice and attractive like the rest of the band, but her voice lacks character and the arrangements don't bring much to the table in terms of dazzling harmonies or anything. And the noodley instrumental part of the second track, "Ghost Stories," would probably pop a little more if Elliott Smith or Adam Turla had played on it.

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