Wednesday night, Blitzen Trapper played a show in Milwaukee and I previewed it for 88nine. I was lucky enough to sit in on the three-song pre-show performance in the Radio Milwaukee studios and meet the band. They were all pretty down to business and straight-faced guys, but nonetheless extremely down to earth. As Eric Earley fiddled with his harmonica, Marty Marquis took sips out of his boxed water and Drew Laughery danced along with his apple shaker. Although only three of the six members were christening the new intimate recording studio at 88nine, they proved that a little can go a long way for Blitzen Trapper. They played "Evening Star," "Dragon's Song" and "The Tree" and they were all stunningly beautiful. Needless to say, their performance at Turner Hall Ballroom was an extension of that.
Before Blitzen Trapper went on though, Avi Buffalo took his turn. I've listened to Avi for a while now, but became more involved once I saw the band open for Modest Mouse at Summerfest. THEY WERE SO GOOD.
Right around the time Blitzen Trapper was doing their encore, my friend spotted Avi over by the bar. He was wandering aimlessly by himself in a cute pair of overalls and looked lost. So I went over to him and tried to put him at ease by telling him how insanely talented he is. I started talking about how the band's sound reminds me of my favorite band, Wilco, particularly their insanely talented guitarist, Nels Cline. His jaw dropped and he told me that Nels is basically his hero, which does not surprise me. Then he asked me how old I was. I told him I am 19. "Me too!" he exclaimed. From there, we talked about what music we've been into lately, him losing a band member recently and the fact that it's been a long tour for him and he's ready to go home and write some music. We said our goodbyes when a tiny fan club ran up to him with t-shirts and sharpies. He told me it was nice meeting me and if I ever get to Long Beach that I should get a hold of him. Avi Buffalo, you are a nice guy.
Here's a video of one of my favorite Avi Buffalo songs, "Remember Last Time." It's definitely Wilco-esque to me and each riff is just gorgeous. Don't you agree?