Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Love Language, In Residency at Slim's (Night 4, 5/6/11)

The Love Language closed out their 4-night residency at Slim's Downtown Distillery in Raleigh, NC, Friday night. The opening band was Lonnie Walker, who I have seen before and liked. But they totally won me over this time. Their sound reminds me of some of the 1990's Ghostmeat Records bands (Sunbrain, Tony Tidwell, Drive by Truckers), in feel if not exactly sound. Is it just me, or is Lonnie Walker frontman Brian Corum the spitting image of Paul Westerberg here?

After covering the Velvet Underground's entire White Light/White Heat album on Night 3, the Love Language returned to close the week with a mix of originals from both of their CDs. As with Night 1, the show was a raucous party. The small space was I'm sure fun and familiar to a band with the not-too-long-ago penchant for playing house parties (but maybe never again). They enjoyed every minute as much as the audience, as all danced and sang along to "Blue Angel", "Manteo", "Lalita", "Providence", and about a dozen others... probably about an even split between the two CDs.

The encore included "Pedals", which I'd not heard played live (and was beautiful). Brian from Lonnie Walker helped close the night signing "Louie Louie" with the Love Language backing, and bodies were flying everywhere (see last picture: off the monitors, over the crowd...). Slim's was definitely pushed to the limit on this night.

What a great band, club, scene, and all-around vibe to have something like this happen in Raleigh. After following idols like Arcade Fire and Guided by Voices around the country (and making idols of themselves to more than a few I'm sure), to come and host what basically was a 4-night party in such an intimate venue was a downright gift to fans and downtown Raleigh alike. Guitarist/producer BJ Burton says they're looking around for a space in Raleigh to record their third CD this summer; so hopefully we'll get another gift in the reasonable future (though they haven't played any new songs yet that I know of).

A few photos and a video below (the haunting "This Blood Is Our Own", preceded by some chatting with the crowd about the week). Pics are a little different than Night 1, as I only used a 80-200mmm zoom on night 4, which probably wan't ideal for the venue and show. Just thought I'd try something different on the second go-round.

The shirt, the shirt...

Too much of this...

...leads to this...

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