Putting together a sold out after (Pitchfork) party, Schubas brought together two great bands that had been involved in the festival. The Twilight Sad played their usual emotionally heartbreaking set complete with the sense of desperation. Jared Van Fleet of Voxtrot played first with what some may feel was a bare bones essence comparatively though it felt unadulterated and enchanting just the same. Those who may have been at Pitchfork Music Festival in Union Park all day may have felt exhausted by the time eleven p.m. rolled around but for the lot of us who toughed it out, the extra night of music proved a real treat.
Though I’ve seen The Twilight Sad three times, including earlier in the day at Pitchfork, there is always something about the moodiness and intimacy of a smaller venue. The Twilight Sad out of Glasgow Scotland wear their hearts and accents on their sleeves with James Graham appearing with primadonna poses much like a Scottish Morrissey or James Dean. His heart is in anguish, which you might notice by listening to the lyrics on their debut album Fourteen Autumns and Fifteen Winters or just by simply watching the way Graham writhes around like his very being is in a state of torture. You get the feeling all of the girls in Scotland that might want to nurture James back to a state of happiness couldn’t possibly help. Clinging on to the microphone as if it were his only friend, he closes his eyes for most of his singing as if trying to shut out the outside world completely. As usual, the tension built up until it had to be extinguished by the frantic drumming that he did on his knees against the front of the drum as if begging the pain to be eased with sound. Though their set was not much longer than it was at Pitchfork, the ending was perfect in a wall of cascading sound and pedal effects.
Sparrow House, which is the side project of Jared Van Fleet, the keyboard player of Voxtrot, opened up the night. Unfortunately (due to low lighting) the only photo I have of Jared Van Fleet from a club setting that I can post is during his set at The Empty Bottle almost a year ago. The acoustic guitar is a slightly different role for him obviously and the tone of the music is much different. Unlike the very light hearted indie pop of Voxtrot, Sparrow House is something to listen to and feel in your head and your bones. Some may call it pastoral. I feel it has a delicacy to it that Voxtrot doesn’t always have (though, I love both). A good comparison would be David Pajo’s 1968.