Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Breathe Owl Breathe @ Shubas in Sept.

Over the years, my musical taste has developed into such a wide range of interests that I have a hard time actually defining my "style".  What characteristic does a band need in order to surely gain my attention and respect?  What is the cheapest ticket to my heart?  The only thing that I am consistently drawn to is individual intergrity.  When I find a band that is dulcetly pleasing, all the musician needs to seal the deal is to give off the impression that he/she is in the art form/business for the right reasons.  I hope that when I meet the musician, he/she will come off as a "cool dude".  It has been of my greatest fortune, that since coming to Chicago, I have been able to see several of the musicians in which I witness utmost integrity, live.  I have seen David Bazan humbly curse himself as he forgot a couple of lyrics to a song.  I have seen Kristian Matsson (of The Tallest Man On Earth) respectfully take down several hecklers more than several notches.  I have seen Justin Vernon alter his passionate croonings from Bon Iver folk to Gayngs' sexual soul.  I have seen NOMO, a afro-jazz ensemble that takes the cake for kindest local band in Chicago, in Grant Park.  However, Breathe Owl Breathe might have been the show that impressed me the most amongst all of these special artists.
        Tim, my collegiate cohort, and I took the redline to Shubas Tavern several weekends ago to see the Breathe Owl Breathe show on a somber Sunday evening.  Strand of Oaks and Chief were the openers, but those sets are going to require an entirely fresh post.  The first thing frontman Micah Middaugh told the crowd was that he would love if everyone would take a seat and get in a comfy position.  I might add that he has a polite, quiet composure that creates a peaceful atmosphere in the entire venue (see Home video below).  The band's humble presence mixed with the tavern's candles and quiet audience made for the most quaint of settings.  The group began their set with "Lake Light" and Micah instigated the crowd to create wind/wave noises to set the mood.  Picture an entire crowd sitting on the floor indian style, whispering waves to compliment the beautiful mixture of acoustic guitar and cello, the latter played by the gifted Andréa Moreno-Beals.  Each song was performed in this manner.  It was like I was sitting amidst a story time from my childhood classrooms.  The banter between songs brought the audience together and created a connection between the band and us.  It might sound cliche, but Breathe Owl Breathe made me feel special the entire set.  For "Swimming", Micah put on goggles and flippers to accompany his swimming dance.  On "Where Wolf", Andrea put on a wolf mother hat and crooned in an uncomfortable but passionate and beautiful manner as Micah pretended to be a subconscious teenage wolf who shaved his hair in order to fit in with the humans at school.  The show was so intimate and when it all came to an end, it was hard to leave and walk back out into the windy city.  I talked to Micah afterward, almost to test whether he could really be as friendly as his stage persona related, and he impressed me yet again as we talked for a little while about fishing in Wisconsin.  This amazing group has a charity project where they are making a nonprofit storybook for children to accompany their music.  They might just be the perfect band to play this winter as you curl up with your cocoa after a day in the cold. Enjoy! ~Tony
Breathe Owl Breathe - "Across The Loch"
Breathe Owl Breathe - "Own Stunts"
Breathe Owl Breathe - "Swimming"
 Download the band's Daytrotter Session. It's supa fly.

Breathe Owl Breathe- Dogwalkers of the New Age (Live at OPB) from on Vimeo.

Breathe Owl Breathe - Home from Mostly Midwest on Vimeo.

Breathe Owl Breathe - Own Stunts from Magic Central on Vimeo.

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