Episode 166: Damien Jurado - Visions of Us on the Land

Episode 166: Damien Jurado - Visions of Us on the Land

Last week it was 311 day. If you don't know what that is you're lying. To yourself.*

Damien Jurado is back with an expansive, mind-bending, psycho-trip of a  new album, Visions of Us on the Land. We buy the ticket and take the ride.

Skylar Gudasz's exceptional debut album Oleander is out NOW. We've got a track to help convince you of said exceptionality.

*Now would be a good time to reiterate that we are not a facts based podcast.

LIVE: Sharon Van Etten w/Damien Jurado @ The 9:30 Club - 10/25/12

All photos by Kevin Hill (

Sharon Van Etten has always presented a fascinating musical dichotomy – the effervescent and engaging performer and the incredibly dark material she often sings about. Things don’t just go wrong in her songs, they careen off a cliff at top speed. Men enjoy “sucking on dreams” and “garaging girls,” women implore men to “do your worst if you can.”

Yet on stage, she frequently smiles, engages the audience with charmingly low-key chit-chat, and puts her lustrous vocals front and center. Her Winona Ryder-meets-Tina Fey looks belie the dark nature of her songs. The two halves make for a wonderful whole in her live performances, as was the case in her terrific show last Thursday night at the 9:30 Club.

Sticking mostly to material off her latest record, Tramp, Van Etten offered a fantastic set of 14 songs, beginning with the slow, lilting “We Are Fine.” Switching from acoustic to electric guitars (which she did often) the band then offered a rousing version of “Warsaw,” Tramp’s leadoff track. Though backed by only three musicians, Van Etten managed to create a much bigger sound, but not one that overshadowed her vocals. She made a note that she’s had the same band for a while, and it shows; they segued perfectly from the noise-pop of “Warsaw” into countrified “Save Yourself” from 2010’s Epic. A vocal gaffe led to her amusing admission that she’d actually sang “shave yourself,” and noted the song was available to razor companies for the right price.

LIVE: Damien Jurado @ The Black Cat - 5/21/12

A couple Monday’s ago it was a good night for Damien Jurado here in DC. Ticket sales were apparently brisk enough to move his show from the backroom to the upstairs at The Black Cat, and saying that the audience was super-fan heavy would be putting it lightly. Jurado, who has been making critically lauded music for the past 15 years or so, was quick to point out that he hasn’t exactly been pulling in the biggest crowds, playing a show here in the past to only the bartender and the sound guy – and the sound guy left early. So from the get go it was clear that the audience’s excitement to hear him perform music from his latest effort, Maraqopa, was matched ten-fold from the stage, making for a triumph of an evening in every way imaginable.