Tuesday, October 19, 2010

CMJ - Emanuel and the Fear at the Livingroom

CMJ is on in NY, and I caught a show courtesy of Paper Garden Records this afternoon from Emanuel and the Fear. I've been meaning to catch these guys and have an excuse to have a beer in the middle of the afternoon before they head out on a month long european tour.
I read they were known for a massive orchestral section and they brought a nine piece to the livingroom stage. 2 violins, trumpet, trombone, flute, cello, synth...just ridiculous. I kept imagining how they expanded into this size, auditioning people..how they were going to get everyone overseas and jammed into one van. Like in "Jimmie's Song", they just want to play in a rock band, but don't let anyone tell any of these bands at CMJ that it isn't a full time job on top of whatever else you have to end up doing to pay the bills.
Emanuel definitely brings a soul, almost blues feel to the table, combined with Liz's harmonies and the complexity of perfectly working pieces...
It's live that these tracks are unstoppable...to hear arrangements like this live reminds me of Beirut... it's like hearing these instruments for the first time. Recordings will never be the same as coming face to face with the impressive arrangements like this in the same small room.
People used to play music like this, with no amplification night after night for themselves, a few friends. I can't get past the amazing amount of time and effort on stage, coming together in epic indie pop ways. They aren't just bringing a classical backing arrangement. Everyone is on the same rock page...it's the kind of thing that makes all those middle school recitals worth it...if they could have told the 12 year old me you will use this to rock like this one day I might have stuck with it.

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