Main Set: Weight of the World/Somebody Good, The Moon, Mary, I’ll Be You, Be Me, Don’t Settle, Leave a Light, Brother’s Keeper, My Little Ruin – When Your Mind’s Made Up, Race to the Bottom, Bird of Sorrow, Grace Beneath the Pines, Way Back in the Way Back When – This Land is Your Land (Woody Guthrie), Her Mercy – Bird on a Wire (Leonard Cohen), Fool’s Game
Encore: Gold (Interference)
Notes: The Pico Union Project is an old church in Downtown LA, perfectly suited to this intimate, unique night of music. Sound artist Drum & Lace lays down some ambience (and also some Björk), eventually joined by Nigerian percussionist Samson Olawale, playing the Djembe. The two weave sonically together, Drum & Lace’s wordless falsetto gliding effortlessly over the top. Avant-garde jazz saxophonist Sam Gendel takes Olawale’s place, eventually joined again by Olawale and his Djembe, shaker, and tambourine, as well as Irish composer/producer Dunk Murphy (aka Sunken Foal) who adds an additional layer of ambient soundscape. Glen, Joe, and Ruth sneak on stage as the various textures transition seamlessly into ‘Weight of the World’.
The set that follows is hushed and moody, accompanied by shifting psychedelic colours and shapes on the church walls (the work of Mad Alchemy Light Show). Without the rest of the band, the arrangements are stripped back, but supported gorgeously by Dunk’s loops and pads, and improvisation by Olawale and Gendel. ‘Don’t Settle’ is particularly stunning, Joe’s McCartney-esque bassline sitting starkly in the forefront, and Glen dropping to a whisper at the coda, instead of a scream. ‘Brother’s Keeper’ is a highlight, with it being only a few hours until October 1st. Cracks are made between stage and audience about LA’s subtly shifting seasons. It’s true – here we mark seasons by scent, by slant of the sun. They end the song with a spellbinding chant in harmony: look at us, we are children of earth. ‘Her Mercy’ is described as a tribute to “a rock on the mountain that is Leonard Cohen.” The word mercy is the tribute, because to tribute Leonard himself is too monumental a task. It feels apt in this town, not too far from the mountain where he lived.
Glen closes the night by dedicating ‘Gold’ to everyone in LA whom they know and love.
[Thanks to Courtney for the setlist and notes.]
Weight of the World/Somebody Good, The Moon, Mary, I’ll Be You, Be Me (by Jay Senese)
Don’t Settle, Leave a Light, Brother’s Keeper (by Jay Senese)
My Little Ruin – When Your Mind’s Made Up, Race to the Bottom, Bird of Sorrow, Grace Beneath the Pines (by Jay Senese)
Way Back in the Way Back When – This Land is Your Land, Her Mercy – Bird on a Wire, Fool’s Game (by Jay Senese)
Gold (by Jay Senese)