Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Since our earliest youth, we here at Distingué Traces have loved the insouciant way the Squirrel Nut Zippers have of telling us we are going to "Hell". So when they played The Independent on Tuesday night, the DTs were there.
We can reveal: Frontwoman Katherine Whalen is delightful. Frontman James "Jimbo" Mathus, on the other hand, is out of his crazy-eyed, sweat-drenched, Faulkner-spouting mind. Good Lord but the man has energy.
Much of the lineup has changed in the band's new incarnation. Fiddler Gabrielle Pelli brings a more European, klezmer-tinged sound to the songs than they had on the albums. And the new baritone saxophonist, who is extremely handsome (although you'll have to take our word for it, as the DTs' hands were trembling too much for us to get a picture that does him justice), would have been in diapers when Jimbo first warned America of its perdition.
For sure, they give you your money's worth. After the encore set the band appeared again, this time marching through the crowd beating drums and tooting on horns and such, and somebody had put a black Chinese-dragon-head on and was bobbing and bouncing all around. They led the crowd out onto the sidewalk, where a sort of melee ensued that the DTs preferred to avoid.
A wonderful night. They are headed next for a few shows in the Northwest, but stodgy Seattle cannot possibly love the news of its damnation as much as wicked San Francisco did.
at 2:12 AM