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My Brightest Diamond - Bring Me The Workhorse

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Can anyone convince me to download this album?

You could convince yourself to download it by listening to it on the Asthmatic Kitty website. Near the bottom on the left-hand side of the screen they have a link to the album stream.

Thanks for pointing that out. I really like the feel of the music a lot. I love the swelling strings and the casual guitar strumming, which sometimes remind me of Robert Smith except that he gets excited every once in a while and kicks in with a cool distorted 7th chord. I like the drumming too. It has a crisp sound to it, especially for something that is streaming.

I love how the band builds to crescendos. And there are a few quiet afterthoughts to the crescendos that are very nice. Calming, actually.

Her voice isn't as annoying as I thought, especially against this backdrop. I am unconvinced though -- I think she is singing a little more "artily" than she needs to. Still, it may just be something that I will get used to over time. It's worth a download to investigate further.

Thanks for the link.

-s.

Edited by stef

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I had the chance to see My Brightest Diamond play at the Troubadour Monday night, all smoky lights and crunching guitars. And much to my delight, it was actually revelatory, giving the album material an edge and an urgency I honestly didn't expect from her.

Don't get me wrong; I like Bring Me the Workhorse, and I love the sound of Worden's operatic voice trilling and shouting over moody, ethereal guitars. But when the band tore through the title track, for example, pushing against the audience with a tangle of dissonant grinds, Worden's defiant bridge-- "Bring me the workhorse; bring me that no good workhorse"-- cut through the that sonic anxiety attack like an apocalyptic trumpet, a rallying cry for the crippled and forgotten. And with a devoted crowd at the mercy of her every note, she turned "Freak Out" from an indulgent oddity to a raucous concert closer; when that woman shouts "let's dance," you'd better get up and dance.

Of course, I think the crowd wasn't entirely sure how to respond for most of the show; Worden's an incredible performer, but it's hard to cheer and dance to her careening to the edge of death and back with "Something of an End," with all its tension, retardando, and dramatic holds. It's not like you can sing along, either; your average indie kid could never keep up with Shara Worden. Whenever she let loose her siren's wail, scaling effortlessly upwards into her own impossible register, the audience hooted and hollered as if the only proper response was to launch sound into that stratosphere however they could. Unfortunately, she'd hurt her knee at a previous show, so she spent much of the performance seated, and maybe there was a certain lack of showmanship: too much lingering between songs tuning, not enough banter or storytelling. (Although her hurt knee made her one-legged dance for "Freak Out" a concert highlight).

But nonetheless, the music's the thing, and I have a new found respect for that, having watched Worden, clad in a white suit and far prettier than the photographs suggest, breathing sonic fire and thrashing against those details in her lyrics where her devils lie.

If you'd told me that, with My Brightest Diamond, Nickel Creek, and Neko Case live all in the same week, the most revelatory experience woulid be MBD, I'd have thought you were crazy. But it stands nonetheless. She is so much better live.

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Unfortunately, she'd hurt her knee at a previous show, so she spent much of the performance seated, and maybe there was a certain lack of showmanship: too much lingering between songs tuning, not enough banter or storytelling. (Although her hurt knee made her one-legged dance for "Freak Out" a concert highlight).

Too bad. When we saw her, she basically jigged, leapt, and bounced her way through "Freak Out". I never liked that song much on the record, but it's great live.

Nice review, BTW. I wish I could've put it so well.

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