“You know it’s okay to have a bad day.” Courtney Barnett spends a lot of time, thinking about the edges of the daily human existence, sketching out brilliant pastiches of the small moments that everyone experiences. It never hurts to have a catchy song to drape lyrics around, and her case she’s shown to be more than capable of providing sterling examples in both areas. Her newest record, Tell Me How You Really Feel, is not a departure from her oeuvre, and why mess with a winning recipe? “Need A Little Time” was an early standout, showcasing Barnett’s unusual pickless guitar playing style; she’s gotten quite good since first seeing her at the Sinclair in 2015. Maybe spending a good chunk of time with Kurt Vile inspired her playing?
Speaking of, she didn’t play any of the material from Lotta Sea Lice and “Dead Fox” was a notable exclusion but there was no grumbling; “Depreston” remains a piercing look at the depressing state of real estate rent. She also didn’t forget the song that put her on the map, the languid slide of “Avant Gardener” matching with the best reference ever about poor bong smoking proficiency. Her love of Gillian Welch is still going strong, as she opened her encore with a solo, introspective reading of “Everything Is Free” (at last year’s show with Vile, she also played “Elvis Presley Blues”) and invited opener Waxahatchee to help out on “Houses,” a cover from obscure late 60’s folk singer Elyse Weinberg. A ripping version of “Pedestrian At Best” closed out the particularly enjoyable evening.
More photos of the show:
Created with flickr slideshow.