S (Jenn Ghetto)
Chop Suey’s Dragon Lounge, Seattle, WA
Everyone knows by now that Seattle’s bastion of local music – Chop Suey – is nearing its close, and tears are being shed. Tuesday night’s show in the intimate Dragon Lounge was made even more touching, as each member of the night’s lineup called out how they’d been wanting to play this show together for months, and how glad they were to be able to play one more show in the storied venue. The evening opened with the experimental darkness of Corey J. Brewer, stewing solo tunes out of a magic suitcase. He was followed by Finch Wolfe, who directed both the “Losers” and “Vampires” S videos. She sang clear, sad songs with a bit of a tremble. Pete Quirk of the Cave Singers had remarkably perfect banter, seemingly sharing inside jokes like you were suddenly in your new best friend’s basement… if your new best friend had one of the most recognizable voices of current indie folk-rock.
All of this was wonderful, and led seamlessly into S’s set of pure indie pop, with the crowd closing in and everyone singing along. Starting solo on keys for the first two songs, Jenn Ghetto was joined by guitarist Carrie Murphy for the heartbreakingly danceable “Tell Me”, and the two played a perfectly edited set of tracks from the newest record, Cool Choices. A few songs in, someone in the crowd called for the vocals to be turned up, with Ghetto asking whether everyone else agreed. They did. It would be hard to disagree with any part of this show: perfect breakup songs with a beat, sung with a sense of humor in a tiny, dark space on a foggy night, by someone you can’t decide whether you want to console or make out with. They attempted to close out the set with a badass cover of Blue Oyster Cult’s “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper”, but a chant of “play, play, play” got them to add one more, encoring with “Wait” from the last S album, I’m Not As Good At It As You. Definitely worth waiting for – the feeling that these songs mean just as much to you as they do to Jenn – is one of pure, genuine appreciation, and you can tell Seattle is glad she’s back at it. Up next, she’ll be joined by the full band for another local show at Barboza. A slightly larger venue, but I’m guessing the admiration in the room will be about the same, and you won’t want to miss it.
S Set List:
Cover of Blue Oyster Cult’s (Don’t Fear) The Reaper
Review by Stephanie Dore
Photos by Sunny Martini
S (Jenn Ghetto)
Pete Quirk (Cave Singers)
Corey J. Brewer