Live Shots: The Books, Palace of Fine Arts, 11/30/2010


How do I describe the music of The Books? When I'm listening to it, there seems to be no beginning or end, I'm just immersed in it, floating in some exotic place and it's hard to know how I even got there. Seriously, sometimes I wonder, "What is going on?" (Even they sometimes feel that way.)

The Books sound is an eclectic mix of found soundbites teamed with their own stellar cello and guitar playing. They performed Tuesday to a super ecstatic hipster crowd as part of a tour for the release of their new album The Way Out, which includes pieces about golf, hypnotherapy, and my favorite, crazy kids. "A Cold Freezin' Night" (the crazy kid one) takes snippets from cassette tapes that the band found at thrift stores of kids in the '80s and '90s, ranting and raving and getting pretty mad about who-knows-what. It's beyond hilarious and also slightly creepy. But I love it. The Books also make odd and perfectly timed videos to go with their music and showed them during the concert, several of which sparked tons of laughter due to their honesty and downright weirdness.

The opening band, the Black Heart Procession, were not exactly my cup of tea. Their whiny and depressing tunes were also backed with a visual slide show, but the images were at times so disturbing I feared nightmares would come to haunt me if I stared at them too long. Luckily they were soon forgotten as I found my brain quickly absorbed by the ever stimulating talent of The Books.