To The Maxx

one man band
August 25, 2007, 3:39 pm
Filed under: music

liam finn and me, cosmic beard brothers

i recently got a chance to see LIAM FINN play a show opening for Crowded House. Liam is, of course, the son of Neil Finn of Crowded House and Split Enz fame. though his opening slot on his dad’s band’s reunion tour initially sounds like some convenient nepotism at work, once you hear the guy’s music, the truth instantly becomes pretty damn clear.

because this guy, this Liam Finn guy… the guy is a mad genius.

young Liam was born in Australia, reared in New Zealand and now resides in London. he is the frontman of a group called Betchadupa.

so this year he put out his solo album “I’ll Be Lightning” in Australia and New Zealand. despite the fact that it is an analog one-man-band affair, the record feels fully fleshed out. playing live, Finn is able to replicate this thick layered aesthetic in his stage show by using loop pedals (much like the great Jon Brion). he will start a song off on electric guitar, then loop some riffs, then stomp an octavizer to make his guitar sound like a bass, then he’ll sing a bit, then he’ll jump behind the drum kit and pound it out. sometimes he throws in some theremin squeals. it makes for an engaging show. watching him is like watching a scientist in his lab or a kid surrounded by toys.

to demonstrate, here’s a video from his show at spaceland in silverlake earlier this year. the song is called “lead balloon”:

that’s just a taste of how dynamic his live show is. i think that this guy is really something special. his sense of melody is just insane. listen for yourself… these are some wild songwriting chops. here’s the manic studio version of “Lead Balloon” along with a killer track that reminds me of Elliott Smith, called “This Place Is Killing Me.”



(four more songs on myspace)

“I’ll Be Lightning” is out in the US (on Yep Roc Records), UK and the rest of Europe in January of 2008, at which point you will be able to buy it here. Or you can buy the Australian import now.

And go see the guy! he’s in the states now (all dates are with Crowded House and Pete Yorn):

Tour Dates:

Aug 25 2007 Santa Barbara Bowl, Santa Barbara, California
Aug 26 2007 Paramount theatre of the Arts, Oakland, California
Aug 28 2007 Greek Theatre, Los Angeles, California
Aug 29 2007 The Mountain Winery, Saratoga, California
Aug 30 2007 The Mountain Winery, Saratoga, California
Sep 2 2007 Arlene Schnitzer, Portland, Oregon
Sep 3 2007 Orpheaum Theatre, Vancouver, British Columbia
Sep 5 2007 Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, Calgary, Alberta
Sep 6 2007 Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, Edmonton, Alberta
Sep 8 2007 Winnipeg Concert Hall, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Sep 9 2007 Orpheum Theatre, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Sep 11 2007 Ryman Auditorium, Nashville, Tennessee
Sep 12 2007 Tabernacle, Atlanta, Georgia


1 Comment so far
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the theremin? evil beard twin — THIEF!

Comment by Le Chew Toy

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