Had the good fortune to catch Merge Records acts Camera Obscura and The Essex Green last night at the 9:30 Club. All in all a very chill evening—this was a crowd that came to listen, not dance—in a surprisingly packed room for a Monday night. By now most of you all know CO's "Lloyd, I'm Ready to be Heartbroken," which they of course delivered. "Let's Get Out of This Country," the most recent album's title track, was even better, and their live version of "Suspended From Class" reminded me why I so enjoyed 2003's Underacheivers Please Try Harder.
I was really there, though, for the twee openers, The Essex Green, who I've had an ear out for since their Kindercore days. Though they're not a platter WTMD regularly spins, you've probably still caught them on a few of our shows, especially New Music Tuesdays, Altered Fridays, and World Café. Out of Brooklyn, TEG were an Elephant Six band that only now is getting the attention they deserve (it's not easy sharing the spotlight with Apples in Stereo, Beulah, Dressy Bessy, Elf Power, Of Montreal, Olivia Tremor Control, and of course, the incomparable Neutral Milk Hotel). Though they broke my heart by not playing the duet "Penny & Jack," I'm hoping the jangly "This Isn't Farmlife" and other tracks from The Cannibal Sea won them some new fans last night.
I found myself sitting next to TEG's Sasha and Chris during CO's set. I asked, perhaps overeagerly, when the next record was dropping; they laughed and said, "We have to start it first. Maybe 2008?" So you (tentatively) heard it here first.
(Remember that a lot of 9:30 Club shows get recorded live for NPR. Go to our All Things Music page and click on the NPR link for shows from Death Cab, Ray LaMontagne, Regina Spektor, and more.)