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Feathermerchants / Paris Tillman / Paul Ruderman Band, Brownie's, NYC, 2/26/98

Well, normally I'd feel like I have to be all nice and cozy because one of the members of the band will be in the audience of this little review, but they don't need false flattery - they can take care of themselves. I'm talking about the Feather Merchants, who were enchanting with their subtlely middle-eastern influenced pop. OK, subtle except when one of the guitarists picked up a bazouki. Aside from the fact that the lead vocalist seemed a little uneasy and rigid, who'd have guessed that this was only their third gig ever? Not I (except that I had inside info). And with a single already placed in an up-and-coming independent film, they're definitely headed for good things. Sorry to all of y'all on the west coast, they're probably never going to tour, so you'll just have to make the cross-country trek to visit them.

Paris Tillman - Velocity Girl meets the Pixies. Pretty good. Sounded better closer to the speakers. That's all I've got to say.

Paul Ruderman Band - I thought they'd never actually get started playing because members of the band just kept filtering out of the back room, but eventually, all 7 members of the group did finally manage to squeeze onto the tiny Brownie's stage. Any more in that small space, and they'd have been dense enough to create their own gravitational field. Well, OK, so they came close, wrapping the audience in their happy, bouncy Rusted Rootlike, Phishy, funky classic rock vibe. Nothing 'cutting-edge' about it, just really nice, well-written and well-performed music. Honestly, it was refreshing.

And if the music weren't enough to keep me entertained, there was this one woman who reminded me of Elaine from Seinfeld, in the episode in which we learn about the horror of Elaine's dancing skills. I won't make fun of anyone's moves (seeing as how I come by the nickname 'MC Honkey' honestly), but her flopping about was almost worth the price of admission.

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