Au Pair, Carrboro NC 1-9-2016
I hemmed and hawed about making the nearly 4-hour trip to see this show. The "hawed" won, despite the prospect of driving in rain coming back and at night to boot.
Worth the risk, for sure. Not only did I get to hear every song performed live, I got to talk up the record with some Jayhawk fans not knowing what to expect. The opening act was a chamber-pop duo calling themselves Beauty World. I didn't catch their names or the names of the bands they were connected to, but the locals knew them. "They" were a woman playing a cello (the shorter, sit-down kind), and a guy with a guitar that he looped a few riffs and drum sounds made with his mouth to fill out the "band" sound of their songs. They were very good, and a perfect sounding opener for Gary and Django's well-harmonied pop.
Then came the delight of the Au Pair show, and it did not disappoint. Not only do these guys sound like they really enjoy working together, they really have a great vocal harmony chemistry. Now I want to hear more of Django's band Old Ceremony, because I didn't really know what he was bringing to these songs. He and Gary have a lot in common vocally and stylistically that makes for a very unique duo experience.
While there are faint aspects of some of these songs that remind of Jayhawks in their roots (in other words, the band could flesh them out very differently), this setting was an awesome left-turn for Gary's songwriting. I'm really impressed, and I will admit, surprised. The harmonies were wonderful--Django and Gary really have a good chemistry that is worth getting to see in concert. I would love to see the Jayhawks take this project on tour as an opening act, but that's sort of presumptuous on my part...
Anywho, they played the entire record, and there were 6 additional songs. The lone Jayhawk number was "All The Right Reasons" with a local guy named Josh (I think) adding another layer of harmony to this song. It was terrific, as were Django's songs from his band Old Ceremony. There were 3 songs out of this six that were Au Pair songs, new and "out-takes" that came alive being revisited in the live setting.
And Gary did some fun synth-soloing while Django changed a guitar string--that was a hoot of improvisation with fun "song titles" for the sound pieces Gary got out of his mini-synth. He used this synth sparingly, relying mostly on guitar and harmony singing to bring out the songs, and methinks this is key to the Au Pair material--the wonderful blend of harmony singing these two have.
Here's the best I can do for a set list (guessing at the titles of the extra material)
AU PAIR 1-9-2016 Cat's Cradle Back Room, Carrboro, NC
1. Waiting For The First Time
2. King Of The Valley
3. Middle Distance
4. One-Eyed Crier
5. In Every Window
6. Make An Entrance
7. New Deal
8. Night Falls Early
9. One-Armed Candy Bear
10. NEW SONG Keep Your Eyes On The Ground (?)
11. Empty Quiver (?)
12. Gary synth solo
13. Sullivan's Ghost
14. NEW SONG Five O'Clock Shadow (?)
15. (Django) She's Got Her Mother In Her Heart
16. All The Right Reasons
17. (Django) Bao Qian
18. Baby On Trial
*This fella, it seems, he's known guys like you his whole life too. (J. H.) *
Last edited by JoMama : 01-12-2016 at 10:47 AM.
"Keep Your Eyes On The Ground" is actually "O Henry".
"Empty Quiver" and "Five O'Clock Shadow" are correct.
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