Jens Lekman + Throw Me the Statue at Nectar | Seattle | 6 November 2007
Photo swiped from your friend laura’s flickr page. She’s got a bunch more amazing shots over their as well.
Fremont seems to becoming a place to go see live music, between the High Dive and Nectar I haven’t had to go past the ship canal to see a gig in a couple weeks. Jens Lekman had no trouble selling out the Nectar Lounge, he seems to really be growing in popularity with Night Falls Over Kortedala. Though I’ve heard die hard fans complain that the new record isn’t as good as his previous work. It is a little more slick in its production but at the songs are still really good, and at the core Jens is still Jens. After spending a lot of time with it, I like it just as much as When I Said I Wanted to be Your Dog.
Jens is quite the charmer, though I thought he would have bit more between song conversation, though he did offer to everyone watching from the patio to come out later and play for them. His charm came through in the way he filled many of the songs with what seemed like off the cuff dialog that had the crowd cracking up. Even lines that you knew were coming, were funny, like on A Postcard to Nina. I guess it’s his deadpan delivery and a little je ne sais quoi that makes it funny even if you’ve heard it a hundred times before.
Funny, charming and good looking guys are usually surrounded by beautiful women and Jens is certainly no exception, his entire band was made up of women, six to be exact, save for Victor Sjoberg who provided computer assistance (samples, beats, backing tracks, etc). The band sounded great, seamlessly incorporating the samples with the live instrumentation, including two violins, sax, trumpet and accordion.
The song selection was also quite satisfying, adequately sampling all three records, with Kortedala getting most of the attention. We got our fill of older songs like Tram #7, Cold Swedish Winter and Maple Leaves with it’s funny Mark E. Smith reference. The highlight of the show for me was the one-two of an acoustic version of It Was a Strange Time in my Life that seemed to turn into a beautiful full band rendition of Black Cab. The way the band seemed to magically reappear on stage from underneath Black Cab’s ace guitar hook had me mesmerized. I certainly get the feeling that we won’t be seeing Mr. Lekman in a setting as intimate as Nectar again. If you have a chance to catch him on this US jaunt do it, before he’s playing theaters the next time around.
UPDATE: After reading a couple other reviews here (3 Imaginary Girls) and here (Seattle Metroblog), they jogged my sketchy memory and reminded me that he played Paul Simon’s You Can Call Me All as an encore. He pretty much avoided singing the chorus, becuase he said he hated it, (he also hates Chevy Chase…c’mon Jens, I thought those Fletch movies were great!) .
Seattle band Throw me the Statue are opening the west coast dates of Jens’ tour. They are newly signed to Secretly Canadian (Lekman’s label in the US), and will be reissuing their excellent Moonbeams on it soon. On record they make me think of a little bit of Grandaddy and Scott Reitherman’s voice reminds me of the Long Winters‘ John Roderick. There’s more to it than that, but it’s a jumping off point. Their set was pretty good, but you could tell that they are still feeling things out. Yucatan Gold where they used an ipod for the backing track never took off, but Lolita, This is how We Kiss and a surprising cover of Guided by Voices‘ My Valuable Hunting Knife all hit the ball out of the infield. Look out for these guys, Moonbeams is a really good record that upon better distribution and promotion is bound to get some attention.