Tag Archives: the circle married the line

LIVE: Feist

It’s been over a week since I saw Feist perform at the House Of Blues in Boston and I’m still absorbing it. When you get wrapped up in an artist’s work, you form your own unique opinion of who that person is, and what their art means. Then when you come face to face with the reality, it can disappoint. I’ve been a fan for years, and when I finally saw her live last week, Leslie Feist did not disappoint…seeing her only confirmed what I felt by listening to her music – She’s plugged in. She’s real. She’s incredibly unique. And she’s an extroardinary talent.

I’m very lucky to have a strong musical connection with my father. I frequently give him music that I’ve been enjoying and he almost always loves it too. Like me, he found himself deeply connected with Feist’s latest album, Metals and especially to a certain song –  “The Circle Married The Line”. He was so inspired that he created a very simple but striking painting to convey the song title’s image:

Dad wrapped up the painting and brought it to the show and we gave it to the person at the merch table, hoping he’d pass it along. My dad was SO excited to see Feist live, and he might’ve been the only 70-year-old in the audience. We stood by the front, entranced as she and her band opened with “The Bad In Each Other” and played a dark, barely recognizable rendition of “Mushaboom”. About 4 or 5 songs in, she said to the audience, “Jack Phaneuf, are you here?” and we shouted and waved at the stage from where we were standing. She said, “Jack, this goes out to you”, and played my dad’s favorite, as we smiled from ear to ear and shook our heads at each other in disbelief. That’s the kind of person Feist is.

Even aside from the shout out, the night was magical. The trio Mountain Man accompanies the band on tour these days, and their harmonies soared behind Feist’s vocals. We heard almost every song on Metals, and others like “I Feel It All”, “My Moon My Man”, “So Sorry”, “Sea Lion Woman”, “The Limit To Your Love”, and “Let It Die”. A few special cameras were set up at strategic postitions onstage to project images on the back wall with a trippy kaleidoscope effect. You’ll see what I mean in the video below (complete with my Dad’s shoutout):


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NEW Music: Feist

Feist – Metals

Every so often a piece of art will touch you very deeply…it’ll have an affect on you that you can’t even accurately explain in words. That’s how I feel about this album. I’ll attempt to explain.

Leslie Feist took a full year off before she began to write Metals. She said she wanted to learn how to be quiet and discover that “silence isn’t aggressive”, and that concept certainly shows through in these 12 tracks. There’s a depth to the sound that’s simply stunning…and yet under the layers of carefully constructed piano, guitars, drums, strings, horns, and harmonies, lies a still and utter silence. It’s most prominent in tracks like “Graveyard”, “Caught A Long Wind”, “Anti-Pioneer” and “Cicadas And Gulls”.

While a lot of the tunes have strength in their lovely, quiet power, there are louder and stronger moments too. “The Bad In Each Other” is a perfect start to the album, with it’s heavy drum beats and blasting horns. Halfway through the album, “The Commotion” really amps up the energy, and later, “Undiscovered First” also nails you with its power.

“The Circle Married The Line”, “Bittersweet Melodies”, and “Comfort Me” are my favorites for now…their words and vocal harmonies are incredibly moving. “Comfort Me” especially grabs you with it’s sudden choir of voices about 2 minutes in.

This is the type of album where the arrangements are the first to sink in, and the lyrics come after. In certain cases, the words are inaudible, but the full, lush sound of the song is what really soars – Feist’s voice is just another instrument added in to the glorious mix. There’s something to say about listening to this album outdoors. I feel that the change of seasons is really embraced by these sounds.

If you read this blog or know me at all, you know how I feel about the Fleet Foxes album, Helplessness Blues…it’s safe to say I never thought any album this year could move me the way that one did (does). I’m so happy I gave Metals the time and attention I did, because it has moved me in ways I never anticipated. It fills me with light…and strangely, hope.


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