CHBP: Kimya Dawson, The Builders and The Butchers, Fleet FoxesJuly 28th, 2008 by travis hay
4:30 Kimya Dawson is on the main stage and much like The Cave Singers, which preceded her, her acoustic sound is being swallowed by the massiveness of the outdoors. Truthfully, her kid songs really do nothing for me, so I wasn’t surprised that her live set had the same effect. I understand she is a local artist and I get that she had some songs on the soundtrack to Juno, but come on, she shouldn’t be on the main stage.
Her singing was ridiculously off key (she sounded like a neutered puppy yelping crossed with Bjork) and her songs, while appropriate I suppose for an all-ages crowd, are pretty bad too. And apparently I’m not the only person who thinks so. Below is an excerpt of a conversation I had with a fellow music critic from a major publication (which shall remain nameless) in the beer garden after Dawson’s set.
Nameless critic: “What did you think of Kimya Dawson?”
Me: “Well …”
Nameless critic: “She’s awful!”
So there you have it, one nameless critic and me agree that Kimya Dawson is really nothing that special.
5:00 My friend and I decided to check out The Builders and the Butchers inside of Neumos. Apparently these PDX guys have been getting quite a bit of buzz lately (although it can’t be that much buzz considering I hadn’t heard of them until Saturday). Neumos was pretty crowded so I couldn’t see much, but from what I recall there were five band members, one playing a mandolin, two drummers and a couple of guitar players. They played mostly acoustic and their sound was sort of like backwoodsy campfire rock. They would fit perfectly opening for My Morning Jacket, or even Fleet Foxes.
5:45 Speaking of Fleet Foxes, the Seattle band with the biggest buzz at the moment are taking the main stage. As I mentioned a little while back, I was probably the last local music critic to buy their excellent self-titled record, but once I gave it a listen I was 100 percent sold.
The weather was terrific, the setting outstanding (outdoors in Capitol Hill, one of the cultural centers of the city) and the band’s music was perfect combination of serenity and beauty for a Saturday afternoon. Plus, unlike Kimya Dawson and The Cave Singers, the acoustic beauty and blissful four-part harmonies floated through the sky uninterrupted by the trappings of the outdoors. I was a little, ahem, lubricated, during Fleet Foxes set (in preparation for The Hold Steady), so I don’t remember exactly what songs the band performed but I am pretty sure I heard “Oliver James” and “White Winter Hymnal” during their set.