Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Good ol’ Gomez

The three singers of Gomez played at the beautiful Hiro Ballroom last night. It was, as usual, a stunning concert that reminds me that I would’ve made a deal with the devil to have Ben’s voice.

The night started off with a pleasant discovery of David Ford, who’s style evokes the dark, dreamy landscapes (and arpeggios) of early Radiohead and the almost too weighty songwriting of Damien Rice. His vocals were impressive, but at times sounded a little too much like the lead singer of the Goo Goo Dolls. I was a bit annoyed that the guy looked like a Justin Timberlake clone with stage theatrics that would’ve rivaled that Coldplay guy. Nonetheless, the guy’s voice and talent are hard to ignore.

Back to the main event, I still have an intense love for this band that baffles and scares some onlookers. I completely relate to the band’s mentality. They tour constantly, love their fans, have no ego and enjoy each other’s antics. Imagine your college buddies getting their asses off the couch and playing music. Except that their music turned out to be really fucking great.

Plus there’s an appreciation for having three singers that share vocals and harmonize, probably rooted in my growing up listening to the Beatles and Beach Boys. You just don’t hear that nowadays. It helps to have three singers that can sing really well. Not just a frontman with another band member that thinks he can sing (the Stills, I’m looking in your direction here until you prove me wrong).

Here’s a sampling of one song that each of the Gomez vocalists took a stab at:

Silence: Ian solo

Silence: Ben live

Silence: Tom, album version

I also love these guys because they never stop evolving their songs. The live versions are always ten times better than the studio releases, but I’m amazed that they’re open to playing a bluesy version or a Caribbean version or a waltzy version. They find new sounds for old songs that they could just as easily and lazily horde for new tracks for albums. But instead they keep their fans excited and their old tunes fresh.

Yeah, I’m one of the crazy fans that stockpiles bootlegs but the reward is hearing new songs evolve and take shape. Here’s an early version and a live pre-release version of a song that’s on their upcoming album:

Working Title: Failure

Hamoa Beach

One of my favorite Radiohead songs, Follow Me Around, will probably never get released and there aren’t any good recordings of it anywhere. Yeah, that sucks but it’s also somehow still fulfilling to have discovered it.

Hopefully I’ve devoted enough of this post to ranting on Gomez that I wont have to do it ever again. But maybe not since I’m reliving the adventure tonight at the Housing Works Bookstore. If anyone can find bootlegs of these concerts let me know!

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