Sunday, August 02, 2009

M. Ward; Nels Cline & Mike Watt @ Central Park Summerstage

M. Ward; Floored by Four
@ Central Park Summerstage
New York, NY - August 1, 2009

M. Ward's voice is fuller than ever and even a little silky these days as the monster of folk maestro discovers his truly rockin' side. The ballads were kept to a minimum as Matt and his band tapped into some real barnburners, including a bust-out cover of "Roll Over Beethoven" which reminded everyone that song craft probably peaked in 1956 even if very stellar artists have come around since then. This is in addition to "Rave On" already being in the repertoire as part of the Hold Time record. He should have played Little Richard for the 50's Greatness trifecta.
On his own work, Matt continues to sing and play with a level of class and professionalism that few attain. He's no longer singing under his mic, shyly looking to the sky instead of the crowd. Instead, he is finally staring us in the eye, continuing to sing songs of deep reflection and haunted spirit. He's one of those melody makers that I put into the canon of "Writing the Soundtrack to Our Lives". A hokey burden to be sure, but maybe it's not Ward's fault - he was gallivanting around the Indie circuit with that actress last year. That's probably how he was motivated to look people in the face, he saw some of us can be quite pretty to look at.

Nels Cline and Mike Watt got together with two other folks, dubbed themselves Floored by Four (meh name), and made their debut opening up for M. The bulk of the long, trippy psychedelic jams were not very pleasing or ripe for the setting, but the P-FUNK "Maggont Brain" finale (a song I know through the Volebeats so I should have recognized it better) was amazing - Nels Cline is something to see and hear on the guitar.

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At August 2, 2009 at 7:25:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Last song was Maggot Brain by P-Funk, not Floyd, & it kicked ass.


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