Tag Archives: Bowerbirds
Philip Moore (vocals and guitar) and Beth Tacular (accordion and vocals) first met on the job at a Whole Foods in North Carolina. They actually became a couple before becoming two-thirds of the ethereal, acoustic-folk band (with an artistic bent) Bowerbirds along with Mark Paulson (violin and vocals). The Raleigh, N.C., trio’s first album, Hymns for a Dark Horse, featured earnest (rather than ironic) folk music—not to mention the accordion and a marching-band bass drum. Their follow-up, the rustic Upper Air, in the vein of a more upbeat Iron & Wine record, came out in 2009. And the band’s third album, this year’s The Clearing, recorded in a North Carolina cabin and Bon Iver’s Wisconsin studio, finds Bowerbirds (above, playing “Overcome with Light” for WNYC FM) working with a much bigger sound than that of the previous two discs. This new music especially comes across well live. See for yourself tomorrow night at Music Hall of Williamsburg.
Tags: Beth Tacular, Bowerbirds, Hymns of a Dark Horse, Mark Paulson, Music Hall of Williamsburg, Philip Moore, Preview, The Clearing, Upper Air, Video
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Bowerbirds have a new album, The Clearing, and they play The Bowery Ballroom on Friday. The new disc is great and so is the band, which is probably why the show is sold out. But The House List is giving away two tickets—so if you’d like another shot to go, try to Grow a Pair. Just fill out the form below, being sure to include your full name, e-mail address, which show you’re trying to win tickets to (Bowerbirds, 3/23) and a brief message explaining who you think will make it to the Final Four and why. Eddie Bruiser, whose bracket isn’t looking too great, will notify the winner by Friday. Good luck.
Bowerbirds – The Bowery Ballroom – October 12, 2010
Seeing Bowerbirds at The Bowery Ballroom? How could one resist such syntactical synergy? It’d be like giving up the chance to see Radiohead at your local Radio Shack. The music Tuesday night was also very hard to resist. The ensemble from Raleigh, N.C., hit their stride with the third song, “Teeth,” bearing their own with a heady mix of acoustic guitar, accordion, marimba, plus a travel-size string section of a violin and viola. This is the type of band that grows on trees in Portland, Ore., but takes a different twist when rising out of North Carolina. They employed creative pacing with nonlinear flow of folk motifs—there was very little verse/chorus/verse to be heard. If you tried hard enough, you could dance to it, but most in the crowd were content to just sway along to the random breezes of the music.
Despite all the various permutations of instrumentation at their disposal, Bowerbirds’ real strength was Phil Moore’s and Beth Tacular’s vocals. On their own, they were very nice, but combined, they elevated to something special. It is a rare treat to listen to two voices join together like they were created to do so and that was the effect of their harmonies. The highlight of the set was “In Our Talons,” where those voices dancing over a string of dee dee dee dees elated the audience more than any combination of accordion, viola and bass drum ever could. —A. Stein
Photos courtesy of Charles Steinberg