21 September 2006

show review: Porlolo / A Dog Paloma

20 September 2006

Oriental Theater

Porlolo, A Dog Paloma - The super-group versions.

Porlolo is a rubber band. One person, six people, or any number in between and it sounds like an exact fit around the music. I'm always amazed at how that works out. And although hearing Erin Roberts solo with her Harmony is a pleasure, I like the bigger version of Porlolo even better. Last night's line up was about the same arrangement as appeared up at the South Park Music Festival a couple weekends ago; the only missing parts were Carrie Beeder on violin and Joe Sampson, who would follow up later in the evening with A Dog Paloma. Although I think there was only one new song performed last night, that was cool with me because I think could probably listen to Porlolo songs everyday for years and not get tired of them.

In case you haven't caught the new arrangement, I'll explain it for you here. Avoiding the argument of whether double or electric is better, Porlolo takes one of each by having both Julie Davis (Bluebook) and Jonathan Till (d. Biddle, Nathan & Stephen) brilliantly tending to the bass section. Steve Brooks (Nathan & Stephen) keeps the rhythm together while Tom Mohr and Erin Roberts (the central core of Porlolo) tend to the rest with grace and style. I recommend giving a listen soon. They've got shows coming up this month on the 26th at the Marquis and the 30th at the Hi-Dive. Go on, you'll be so happy you did.

Before last night I'd only heard A Dog Paloma's songs on the myspace. I love the myspace for checking out music, but you have to keep in mind that finding music this way is like looking at pictures postage-stamp size. That is, you can get an idea of what to expect, an index reference if you will, but it's only a partial representation of the whole thing. So, what I knew already was that Joe Sampson wrote pretty songs and that I wanted to listen to him sing them for real. And last night he sang them with Nathaniel Rateliff (The Wheel/Born in the Flood) to great effect. Very mellow and chill. The harmonies were on. And although Nathan McGarvey (Nathan & Stephen) and Ben DeSoto kept the rhythm together on bass and drums, poor Justin Croft had to give up on his out of tune keys. But even if all the parts didn't come together as perfectly last night as one might hope for in a performance, there was still plenty enough goodness in the songs and voices themselves to make me very glad I stayed to the end.


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