• Live Reviews

Woods at Subterranean on Dec. 10, 2011

written by: on December 23, 2011

There are four men who make up Woods: Jeremy Earl, the vocalist and lead guitarist, tape-effects technician G. Lucas Crane, bassist Kevin Morby and multi-instrumentalist Jarvis Taveniere. Pop ‘stache recently interview Jarvis Taveniere and Matt Valentine, otherwise known as MV of MV & EE, who was on tour in place of G. Lucas Crane.

Opening with abbreviated versions of their best-known singles (“Pushing Onlys” from Sun and Shade and “Suffering Season” from At Echo Lake), the band made sure to meet the needs of newcomers before diving into the experimental textures that have won over many a critic and die hard alike.

With the hits out of the way, Earl stopped the audience in its tracks with haunting renditions of crowd favorites “Rain On” and “I Was Gone.”

Woods may be known for its studio creativity, but it is Earl’s falsetto that brings the fuzz-folk to life.

Throughout the set Taveniere upheld his esteemed title as multi-instrumentalist, constantly rotating drums, guitar and bass. If any band can see the advantage of long guitar solos and jams, it is Woods. The band recognizes the importance of the concert as experience. Elsewhere, Valentine appeared to channel missing member. The effect was mesmerizing.

An otherworldly array of Saharan-like sounds and samples swirled throughout the Subterranean with dissonant echoes, placing the audience at ease. Before attendees knew it, the smooth transitions between songs eventually led them to the evening’s conclusion. Each begged the band for more; such is the sign of a performance done right.

* * *

We showed Taveniere and Valentine a series of pictures, and asked them to comment on them. (We’re not secretly Psychologists here at Pop ‘stache, we promise.)

Jarvis Taveniere: I choose the raptor.

Matthew “MV” Valentine: What caught my eye was the dog, because I saw that the oldest living dog passed away today. He lived to be 27. It is the same breed as my dog. [Then] I also choose the ukulele because when [EE] first started, she played an amplified ukulele. [Finally] I pick the sweater vest because I like to wear vests.

Pop  ‘stache:  Why the raptor?

J.T.: I picked the raptor because I thought it was an ink blot test. I think it’s the teeth.

M.V.: It is very Earl-esque in a way.

P ‘s: If you had to take the raptor, the dog, the ukulele and the sweater vest and make a short story for kids who only had the attention span of two to three minutes, what would it be?

M.V.: Well, there was a dog walking down the street with his master [who was] playing the ukulele, singing a song to this raptor up in the trees. [The song is] about trying to hock a sweater vest to a pimp that just got out of jail and had the best Lexicon you’d ever seen … or heard.

J.T.: I think that’s great.