Monday, May 25, 2009

Bonnie "Prince" Billy at the Trocadero Theater, May 22

Last Friday, my brother, Kenny, came up to Philly for a short visit and also to come with me and Kim to see Bonnie "Prince" Billy. BPB is the stage name for Will Oldham, an alternative-country, neo-folk, indie musician. I met Kenny after work and we went to Nanzhou Hand Drawn Noodle House for dinner. We greatly enjoyed our respective dinners: I had the Beef Brisket Noodle Soup and Kenny had Beef Noodle Soup. We took a short walk around Center City before going to the venue, where Kim met up with us.

Unfortunately, the concert was the most disappointing I have ever attended, but not because the music was terrible. There were several great performances of songs from recent records but also a lot of weird jams where everyone in the band was just playing layer upon layer of indiscernible noise. The worst example of this was when the band played the leading song from the new album Beware, "I Want to be Your Only Friend," but added a several minute interlude in the middle of the song, before it finally unwound to the end. To add insult to injury, they changed the tune of solos in many of their more melodic offerings. It was unexpected and confusing in a horrible way.

The bright spot of the concert aside from BPB's haunting vocals, was the playing and singing of the violinist that tours with him, Cheyenne Mize. I was honestly more impressed with how well the tone and timber of her voice matched and in many cases surpassed BPB. I had to google her later to find out more about her, but it appears that she has a new recording with BPB that was recently released, Among the Gold, and she is part of a Louisville group Arnett Hollow. And she is much cuter than BPB if I may say so:

(Photo from Flickr user:

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