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Odds'n'ends: Concert and mail

I missed posting yesterday because of the triple bill at Tulsa’s Eclipse: Brother Rabbit, The Fox and the Bird, and The Duke of Norfolk. Tulsa’s Brother Rabbit featured siblings (real or claimed), covers of “House of the Rising Sun” and Mumford & Sons, and a wide-ranging indie-rock sound that could use some focus. From Bright Eyes-esque country rock to southern rock to instrumental post-rock to Parachutes-era Coldplay pop, the quartet covered a great deal of ground. Their male/female vocals and instrumental skill say to me that they could be quite successful if they pared down their scope and honed in on a smaller set of skills. It was enjoyable set that made me wonder how good they’ll be in two albums.

The Fox and the Bird, on the other hand, are laser-guided. Their vocal-heavy country/folk would make Fleet Foxes jealous: at times, all six band members were singing in harmony. With a small army of smile-inducing instruments (ukelele, bass ukelele, banjo, fiddle, trumpet, etc.), the band produced a warm, inviting set. Each of the vocalists that took the mic for lead were fantastic, allowing the songs to be vital and impassioned. They walked throughout the audience for their last tune, making the set even more electrifying. There is nothing like having the members of a band inches from you, singing their hearts out. I bought a CD and a poster, the former of which will be reviewed soon. The Fox and the Bird put on the best set of folk that I’ve seen this year.

The Duke of Norfolk was great too. His new EP Nightingale comes out next Tuesday, so he played many of the tunes from it. I produce his music, so I won’t lavish any more praise on it here, but it was a great end to the evening.

Also cool in the world: Snail Mail My E-mail. From July 15 to August 15, a group of people headed up by artist Ivan Cash are writing out the e-mail that you send to by hand and mailing a letter to the person of your choice. It looks really, really cool – it appeals to my love of analog things, as well as my passion for words. Check it out, but do it quick!