Real Estate at the Funhouse, Seattle | 18 November 2009
New Jersey band Real Estate, the latest Pitchfork lottery winners, garnering a well deserved best new music ribbon on their debut self-titled album that came out this week on Woodsist were in town on Wednesday night for their debut Seattle gig. The record is often described as conjuring a surf, beach, and bonfires at sunset king of vibe. It’s not a Beach Boys, southern California vibe, but a down under, New Zealand kink of vibe. Think the Clean (yes, them again) and you’re half way there. Throw in a little Byrds, Grateful Dead and Durutti Column and you’re nearly there.
It was a rainy night in Seattle, what night isn’t this time of year, but the sun was setting and the waves were crashing inside the Funhouse. Real Estate are four unassuming guys that look like they could have been a band in the college rock heyday of the 80’s. Looking at them, they reminded me of bands like Game Theory, Galaxy 500, and Dumptruck who all had a look where if you saw them on the street you would’ve had no idea of their ability to plaster a sunset on the wall with their guitars. Live, Real Estate don’t really have the same watery effects on their guitars that they do on record, but the interplay between singer Martin Courtney in his thrift shop cardigan and Mathew Mondanile (also of Ducktails) sporting a big ol’ anorak was every bit as effective and engaging. Bolstered by the grooving Alex Bleeker (also of Alex Bleeker and the Freaks) on bass, and the best sound I’ve ever witnessed at the Funhouse the band created a hazy mellow good-time vibe the almost made me forget that I live in Seattle and it’s November. Please come back soon.
mp3: Real Estate – Beach Comber (from their self titled debut, buy it from Woodsist)
mp3: Real Estate – Old Folks (from their OOP 7 inch single on Underwater Peoples)
Here’s some video I shot of the last song of their set, Beach Comber.