Next Year’s Songs Await

My most photographed alt-country recording artist, Sera Cahoone, with her full touring band playing a packed “holiday” show at the Tractor Tavern. It was an evening of hometown heartbreak, saying goodbye to another year, wind storms, power outages and darkened streets, and heavy rains. Inside, it was another performance of sad, sweet songs from her latest record, “Deer Creek Canyon” (Sub Pop, 2012). We heard a few new songs, so perhaps a new record is taking shape.

Little Big Sur

Big Sur, a Seattle-based band, opened for Sera Cahoone at the Shakedown Tavern earlier this month. Another band without a web profile or much detail about who they are and where they’re going. I gather there are more band members than the two shown in my photos. And I gather there are two or more bands called Big Sur. So for now, this band remains shrouded in mystery. Maybe that makes them cooler.

Tonight I’ll be in Seattle covering the Okkervil River show at the Showbox Market!

Right In Front of Us: Sera Cahoone

Last night miles of the Pacific Northwest coast were blanketed in a thick fog. Visibility was low. The roads were empty. The drive through the Chuckanut Mountains on my way to Bellingham, Washington, to see Sera Cahoone perform at the Shakedown Tavern set the mood for the evening. Visibility was restricted to what was right in front of me, close in, focused, intense. An intimate setting with a smallish audience, quiet, introspective, reserved. It was a serious room. People held back. Except me. Sera Cahoone’s music bends to fit the space. Luminous, nuanced, and lyrically perfect, it scales. One of the finest songwriters working today, overlooked by some, which is a mistake. Driving home, back through the foggy mountains, across the valley, and back to my little island, the fog pressed down closer. I listened to Deer Creek Canyon (Sub Pop, 2012).

Here With Me.” A perfect song. A perfect longing. A perfect setting in a closing fog on a cold Thursday night, in the closing months of an imperfect year, with a full moon flying overhead.