Wild Sweet Nothings

Wild Nothing, Abe Vigoda, M Women at Vera Project, Seattle | 27 February 2011

Wild Nothing are in the midst of their inaugural west coast tour and made a stop in Seattle Sunday night.  Their slightly melancholy, windswept love-torn, world weary pop was a perfect companion to the cold and rainy night Seattle seems to dish out on a nightly basis this time of year. The show was originally booked for Capital Hill’s tiny Cairo and looking out over the nearly full house it was probably a good thing that they moved the show to the all-ages Vera Project or quite a few people would have missed out on seeing them.

On record Wild Nothing are Jack Tatum on his own writing and recording, live they are a four piece with Tatum playing rhythm guitar and borrowed bassist Dane Chadwick who’s main gig is the drummer in opening band Abe Vigoda. Tatum and his Wild Nothing crew seemed laid back and competent as they set about recreating the cerulean songs from their album Gemini and EP Golden Haze. Tatum sang the songs in a noticeably lower key and I sort of missed the higher-pitched vocals, but it didn’t really make them less enjoyable, because the band delivered the Wild Nothing sound with ablomb.  Tatum and his lead guitarist seemed well-practiced and in synch and the sublime guitars easily won the night with their chiming riffs.  Chadwick with his over-sized vertical striped shirt and his bass were fun to watch as well.  He evoked the Stone Roses’ Mani not only in his garb, but the way he played. He stayed low on the neck and swung the thing around as he danced coming close to knocking out a few of the audience close to the stage.

I remember last summer reading a playlist put together by Tatum for some web site that escapes me now, but it included old Sarah records bands like the Sea Urchins, and Field Mice, stuff by Postcard stalwarts  the Go-Betweens and Orange Juice as well as obscure gems from the Servants, Felt and Wake and I couldn’t help but think that Jack Tatum was a 45 year old twee/indiepop music geek in a 25 year old’s body.  I kept trying to get a closer look to see if he really was an old dude that had just aged well. I saw nothing to dispel that, he’s just on old indiepop soul that channels his fandom and influences  into his own songs

Here’s some video I recorded for the opening song Your Rabbit Feet:

Abe Vigoda opened and were the best I’ve seen them. I really liked their album Crush from last year that seemed to delve deeper into the 80’s synth wormhole. Last night they seemed undecided as to which direction they are headed. Half the songs took the dense, cacophonous and boisterous route while the other half were of the more spacious, synth oriented way. I prefer the latter as this seems to be their strong suite, though I wonder if a 14 year old Animal Collective fan would argue that point?

I missed most of Seattle’s M Women‘s set, but Juan of Abe Vigoda gave them props from stage asking to get a copy of one of the songs which reminded him Lush. Hmm, I guess I should have showed up earlier…

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