Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Plants and Animals at the Apple Store

I've been enthusiastic about this band since day uno. A year... has it been that long now???... of touring and these guys sound so pro. Not to say they ever sounded amateur. But they were different at one point. Less confident maybe? Less cohesive? I don't know. I recall nights of seeing one band member working the bar at Divan Orange. But they have matured like a fine wine and I am proud to say that they do not disappoint. Plants an Animals are indie darlings, beloved by fans of alt scenes everywhere. They're hard not to like, because they make good music and somehow maintain a mysterious air about them. They seem so down to earth and yet... so... out there at the same time. Maybe they're more out there? It's almost impossible to capture in words, but such is the problem for many of my favourite bands.

In the past, I have compared Plants and Animals to Simon and Garfunkel. To my mind, the comparison still holds. Now, I know you're thinking about adult contemporary light pop when I say Simon and Garfunkel. You're going to have to get that out of your mind and pretend you're in 1969 and people are protesting the Vietnam War and these guys are singing Scarborough Fair. They are singing about things that are important, making beautiful complicated music, and harmonizing at the same time. That is exactly how I feel about plants and animals. This band is singing about something current... yet with Kabbalistic mysticism around it. They're making beautiful, complicated songs that range from east coast sailing tunes to trippy rock, and they harmonize in three parts. Perfectly to my untrained ear.

No, these guys have just begun their journey.

So, the apple store. Right. This is a review of sorts. Well, I couldn't see a thing over the heads of dedicated fans who responded to a last minute summons to come out for the show. It seems Plants and Animals attracts tall men. Feh. Spicer said the glaring lights prevented him from looking out at the audience, but he only would have seen a row of coolly dressed skinny indie dudes bobbing their heads. Beyond that, about an hour's worth of their songs that were performed richer than I remember. The sound was fantastic, though, and perhaps it is to this that I can attribute that to Apple's particular arts niche market. There's a reason why everyone in the arts prefers Mac. Mac is better (so sayeth I on my macbook). After most of the audience parted, the remaining few applauded the band back for an encore of Sinnerman.

I have been duly impressed by the Apple Store's little music talent display over the past week. Granted, I took a pass on Simple Plan and Good Charlotte or whatever that band is called... but kudos to the store for calling up Montreal's best trio on the smorgasboard of good sounds.

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