Harrison Gabe

Where the Wild Things Are Soundtrack

“Hey”
“Hi”
“I could use a story”

This is the fitting opening to the music of Where the Wild Things Are done by Karen O and the Kids. These first lines perfectly encapsulate the soul of this album as a very story-telling oriented chronicle of the pleasures and pains of growing up; the love, the fear, the wild emotions, and the challenge (but mostly the love).

The opening song, “Igloo,” sets the stage for this child-like and introverted adventure starting with a whimsical tune hummed out by Karen then slowly joined in by acoustic guitar, keys, and the jingling of a tambourine. It builds until I feel like it has to go into a chorus, but simmers down as easily as it built up, leaving me hungry for the next track, which doesn’t fail to deliver.

Following “Igloo” is the album’s single, “All is Love”, which is easily my favorite song on the album. This song represents all the reasons why Karen O was chosen to do this soundtrack. Her voice carries that sort of low-confidence warble that lets you know that she is genuine. She also gets the help of an amateur children’s choir on this one which only heightens the delightful childhood feeling.

The next songs, “Capsize” and “Worried Shoes”, are emotional roller coasters going from defiant and thrill seeking to helpless anxiety. Transitioning from a driving beat and shouted lyrics to an acoustic, slow, tear jerker is certainly a jolt, but O pulls it off well making each song more powerful by comparison to the other.

“Rumpus” is just like the title says: a rumpus. This is by far the danciest tune on this record and you would have to work hard to not have fun while listening to it. I only wish it was longer…  Fortunately, it is followed by “Rumpus Reprise”! The reprise is a down tempo, hummed out version of the original and it adds a nice, relaxed conclusion to the force of “Rumpus”.

“Hideaway” and the rest of the album are a nice change from the first half. It brings the tone down to something more thoughtful and introverted. This song is both haunting and beautiful; it tastes like the quiet moments of regret we all know. Put it on your sad songs playlist.

Overall, this album is a complete success. I can’t emphasize enough how powerful it is with simply emoting concepts, not to mention aiding in telling a marvelous story. Karen O pulled off the whole thing while maintaining that childhood feeling of hesitant beauty. She can do the soundtrack to my whole life if she wants.

Harrison Gabe

hgabe01@hamline.edu


Sea Wolf @ 7th Street Entry

First off for the night was Sara Lov. Due to reasons unknown, Sara could not tour with her band. Because of this misfortune, she made do with singing and playing alongside a vinyl recording of the band. The best way to sum this up is by saying she made the best out of a bad situation. Even the greatest professional can come off sounding amateur without a live band. Sara Lov is a very talented musician, but this show did not express that in any meaningful way to me.

Port O’Brian is a great little band from California, and if you haven’t heard them yet, hop to it! Think Arcade Fire, but less orchestrated and dirtier. Yes, I know, that description makes them sound nothing like Arcade Fire, but the thing about music is you just have to listen to it.

I have to say that their song “Fisherman’s Son” stood out from the rest as a nice, heartfelt, thoughtful acoustic song that deserved to be highlighted more. They concluded their performance with the song “I Woke Up Today” in which they handed out pots, pans, and various other cookery devices to the audience and had us just beat the hell out of them to the music. I am a sucker for audience involvement and it was the high point of my night.

… Until Sea Wolf hit the stage.

Now, with this band, the live experience is completely different than the recorded one. Not better or worse, just different. The energy flowed differently and somehow, frontman Alex Brown Church, managed to forge a connection with every single person in the Entry.

With a band as talented as Sea Wolf, it is hard to even imagine a bad song selection, and they didn’t fail to deliver. They mixed in a lot of stuff off of their new album “White Water, White Bloom.”

SeaWolf

My favorite track off of the new album was a heartfelt acoustic version of “Orion & Dog,” but “Wicked Blood,” a rhythmic throwback to their last album, also really got my blood pumping. And of course they played their defining song, “You’re a Wolf,” as the encore.

Harrison R. Gabe
hgabe01@hamline.edu


Ice Palace–Wonder Subtly Crushing Us Release Show

Ice Palace, Dark Dark Dark, To Kill a Petty Bourgeouise, and Caroline Smith and The Good Night Sleeps. This was one of those shows. The ones you hear about but never get to or want to go to beforehand. Anyway, down to business.

The main event, the reason I came to this show, Ice Palace. They stole the show, but it was, after all, their special night and they deserved it. I had seen them before and they made the night for me then, too. I came up with one word that sums it all up but still does it no justice: “Good.” Now, when I say “Good” I don’t mean it like “Good, not great” or “Yeah, it was alright…” No. I mean this in the sense that it is the exact opposite of everything that is bad; the epitome of everything worth doing; great music, camaraderie, entertainment, and meaning. Adam Sorensen’s voice is as thick as velvet. The crowd and the band feed off of one another’s excitement. To cap off the show they played “Thoughts/Facts” and invited Arlen Peiffer of The Good Night Sleeps, up on stage to help them out on tambourine.

Dark Dark Dark exhibits a maelstrom of creativity by combining Blues, Cajun, Folk, and something else beyond my words. The band consists of three members: Jonathan Kaiser (cello), Nona Marie Invie (lead vocals, squeeze-box), and Marshall LaCount (Banjo). My first thought when hearing this was that these individuals do not belong to this era. They belong to a bygone era of steam engines, sea shanties, and coal miners; especially with the stellar grouping of accordion and banjo. As a string player I have to comment that Jonathan was by far one of the best cellists I have seen perform at a non-classical concert (not like another cellist I saw recently). Also, there’s nothing I love more in music than a solid pizzicato, and there was plenty of that.


The first band was Caroline Smith and the Good Night Sleeps starring our favorite bubbly drummer, Arlen Peiffer, Jesse Schuster (on upright bass), Alex Ramsey (keys) and Caroline Smith. I had heard Caroline’s old solo stuff previous to this and honestly, it just wasn’t my thing. But seeing this show completely reversed my opinion on her voice (although, I still feel like it’s somehow different from before, maybe it’s that tiny bit of a drawl she has developed or maybe it’s that smoky, dark aspect). Her singing alone blew me away, and when we factor the band in, well, I’m still recovering today. I need no more convincing.

Harrison Gabe

hgabe01@hamline.edu