IN MY AUTUMN SWEATER: Tom Brosseau, The Fillmore, Last Night
1. Mr. Brosseau looks like a Swiss ski instructor or Owen Wilson without the bandages, but he sings like naked woman who died in a great flood a long, long time ago.
2. Mr. Brosseau wore what is quite possibly the
gayest most radical sweater ever seen on a live folk performer whose name wasn’t Joan Baez.
3. The girl next to me leaning against the lip of the stage was teaching herself Icelandic from a textbook while waiting for Mr. Brosseau to appear. She plans to move there one day, but NOT any time soon. It’s too expensive right now. She was quite adamant about this last point.
4. Mr. Brosseau told the crowd that the reason he was late getting on stage was that the PPA almost towed his car away. He looked like he was about to cry. Fuckers.
5. ‘If David Lynch was an alt-country singer’ may not be the most original comparison in the post–Wilco world, where many a scarf-wrapped ragamuffin undergrad strums the sepia-toned magic-realism blues in the hopes of attracting the attentions of the fair maidens of academia. But when Tom Brosseau opens his mouth to sing, it becomes immediately clear the stakes are much higher than birdoggin at Starbucks, and that this man is playing for keeps. His music is very gentle — and kinda spooky, in a pretty way, and the new Cavalier (produced by PJ Harvey sideman John Parish) is no exception — but if you listen close can you hear the hellhounds on this man’s trail. No wonder he sounds like he crawled out from the covers of a Harry Smith Anthology of American Folk Music, like a frozen caveman slowly thawing in the hot, hot heat of the dirty future. Hurry, before he melts.
TEXT & PHOTO BY JONATHAN VALANIA
NOW PLAYING ON PHAWKER RADIO: “How To Grow A Woman From The Ground” + “Bars”