Twist and Shout In-store Concert - Eric Johnson and Andy Cabic

Twist and Shout is a wonderful record store because it not only trumps all competition in selection and vibe, but they make a habit of inviting bands to play short, intimate, wonderful sets in the store too. For fans of Fruit Bats (and I am one) and fans of Vetiver (and I am newly intrigued), last night Twist and Shout welcomed the bands' respective leaders Eric Johnson and Andy Cabic. Johnson and Cabic sat atop zebra-print stools on a small stage in the back of the building, in an area where some of the LPs generally stand and they were accompanied by two, one from each band, electric guitarists who sat aside their amps. As shows go, it was a short one, and unpolished, but in the most heavenly positive way. Johnson, Cabic and the guitarists shared quiet whispers back and forth, as they chose which songs to play and even discussed chord progressions, scales, tuning and the like. At one point Johnson and Cabic even joked with us that we, the small audience of perhaps 40 or more, would know how to play all of the songs by the end too. They were close to right. The beauty of being that close to the band, when the band is parts of two bands who haven't really played together is that you can see how being a musician and collaborating is always complicated. If you don't know, you don't know, so you try your best to keep up.

Johnson and Cabic harmonized amazingly, performing two songs by Vetiver, two by Fruit Bats and one cover of Loudon Wainwright III's "The Swimming Song." They closed on the Fruit Bats' excellent "When You Love Somebody." And after that great song, which is still stuck in my head this morning, the guys quietly took down the stage, spoke with the audience, and signed autographs. It's always staggering to be that close to a band, to feel the creation and artistic expression at that close proximity. It's also a continuing reminder that bands, rock stars, artists, are often humble, kind, slightly embarrassed people. They are real. It's essentially a halo of amazing creative and expressive energy with an amazing, immersive presence. But, enough new age-y talk. There will be video to come. Check back for updates.

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