Archive for the ‘On Being an Angel’ Category

[ATTENDED: December 14, 2022] Lemonheads

Back in 2018, I saw Evan Dando play a solo set in Jersey City.  It was him with an acoustic guitar and he played over forty songs.

It was a shambolic affair, but fun.  I didn’t really feel compelled to see him again, but I thought it would be fun to see him with a band.  And when he announced this 30th Anniversary of It’s a Shame About Ray, my favorite album of theirs, I grabbed a ticket.

Juliana Hatfield finished and didn’t really need to clear her gear (as we’ll see).  And yet for some reason, it took Evan and the other two guys almost 45 minutes to come out on stage.  

This wasn’t an auspicious sign.  I was actually 40% surprised the show hadn’t been cancelled outright.  But it sounds like Evan Dando has gotten his shit (somewhat) together, so maybe this is a new lease on life for him.  

Eventually the band came out on stage.  Bassist Farley Glavin and drummer Lee Falco came out first.  Then Evan came out on stage, grabbed an acoustic guitar and they launched right into “Into Your Arms.”  This is one of my favorite songs of the 90s–so sweet and delightful.  I had literally no idea that it was a cover until I was reading someone else’s review of this tour (it was written by Australian duo Love Positions (Robyn St. Clare (who wrote the song) and Nic Dalton).  It sounded like he hadn’t really warmed up yet and this was his way of easing into the show.  He didn’t hit any of the higher notes.  But he still wounded quite good. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: December 14, 2022] Juliana Hatfield

I was a big fan of Juliana Hatfield back in the 90s.  I thought she was the bomb.  And I was really excited to see her play live when she opened for the B-52s at Boston College back in 1993.  I actually hated the B-52s (they were so overplayed at my college in 1991 that I never wanted to hear “Love Shack” again in my life) so I left before they came on.

And then, some time around 2000 I lost track of her.  I was always happy to hear she was putting out new music, but I didn’t give it much of a listen.  However, her 2018 album that is all covers of Olivia Newton John songs is pretty sweet.

She had toured Philly back in 2015 and I considered going because it was the Juliana Hatfield Three playing again (I should have gone!).  She also played in 2019, but I wasn’t quite as sure about that one for some reason.  But here she was opening for The Lemonheads!

A few minutes after On Being an Angel cleared their stuff, Juliana came out.  It was just her and her guitar plugged into a tiny amp.  The volume was perfect  She sounded great as she started singing a song I knew immediately.. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: December 14, 2022] On Being an Angel

On Being an Angel are a four-piece from Austin.  Given that they were opening for Lemonheads and Juliana Hatfield, I was expecting a sound that fit in with them.

They were actually a bit heavier and a bit more fuzzy than I would have expected.  And I loved their sound instantly. 

And then singer Paige stepped up to the mic and…we couldn’t hear her at all.  Was it Union Transfer’s fault?  That seemed unlikely.  We were very close to the stage and that can certainly impact how you hear a band, but it seemed like the lead guitar (from Nick) was just cranked up super loud and drowned out everything else.

The guy next to me even typed out on his phone (fix the vocal levels) but no one reacted to that.

Then I saw this comment in a 2019 review of them in Austin: “[On Being an Angel] tore apart the crowd’s broken chatter with a roaring wall of sound. Rumbling electric fuzz nearly drowned out Paige Applin’s faint vocals as the slowcore quartet played.”  The rest of the band sounded great–a big grungy sound that I was really excited to hear on record, too.

But when I listened to the (first) record, the sound was really different–far more mellow, far less noise.  The opener, “Eyes Shut” has a fantastic 90s alt rock sound with a catchy lead guitar riff.  But on record, it’s a quiet folk song with no riff at all.

The newer record (on being a tape vol. 2) has a much heavier sound.–much more satisfying.  Paige’s vocals are also forward in the mix.  (more…)

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