Saturday, August 01, 2009

Newport Folk Festival 3 - Iron & Wine/Decemberists

Sam Beam, the man who goes by the moniker Iron & Wine when he plays music, took to the Harbor Stage at the festival and immediately played his best-known song: the acoustic cover of The Postal Service's "Such Great Heights." Of course, the tune's known because it's in that car commercial.

Anyway, I couldn't help but think about how when Beam plays solo, without a band, he sounds a ton like Madison singer/songwriter Chuck E. Costa. So if you like Iron & Wine, I strongly suggest checking out Costa, who write some great songs.

I only caught half of Beam's set because I wanted to make sure I saw all of The Decemberists. Man, am I so glad that I did that. I've seen Colin Meloy and company about five times, but this was actually the best they've been. It was a varied setlist, one that touched upon all parts of the band's career.

Decemberists setlist: The Crane Wife Pt. 3 / We Both Go Down Together / Yankee Bayonet / Down By The Water (new song) / Copper Mine Song (new song) / Isn't It A Lovely Night? / The Hazzards of Love / The Wanting Comes In Waves / The Chimbley Sweep / Dracula's Daughter / O Valencia! / A Cautionary Song / Sons & Daughters

During "A Cautionary Song," the band performed an original theatrical work, one that reenacted Dylan going electric at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival. It was, um, something.


Anonymous said...

And from points west of two of All Points was kind of cut short for me, 'cause I ate something that made me halaciously sick. Really enjoyed the sets by Neko Case and the Ting Tings. Caught bits of some other sets but didn't see Tool 'cause I was staring at the inside of our hotel room's commode. Sorry. I feel ashamed. Actually, I feel like I've had my insides scraped out with a trowel, but let's not go there. On to day 3, with hopes of better things, and better food.

My observations thus far is that they still really don't know how to organize a festival here. The line setup is chaos, and the festival help is woefully uninformed.

Anonymous said...

haha. I was there for the reenactment, involving the "squirrel".

Truly was something else. huh.

sj said...

i think that cover by iron and wine is particularly popular because it's included on the Garden State soundtrack.

i am one of those people who often will first hear music on a soundtrack and then go hunt out the rest of their music. i'm sure some folks find the soundtrack bits overplayed and such, but i find them a wonderful introduction to new music.

Anonymous said...

The Decemberists set was great, but I really think The Low Anthem stole the show that day.

I managed to get a recording of the "Copper Mine Song", and I uploaded it to my blog. It's pretty good quality for the tiny device that I had:

cheree said...

fyi--all of the newport folk sets are downloadable on NPR. not sure how long they'll be up, but it's very exciting