Monday, April 23, 2007
I interviewed Keri Latimer and Shelley Marshall of Nathan today--sipping cappuccinos at Cafe Fanny in Berkeley, seated outside next to the parking lot as the trucks and Volvos roared by (I hope my little tape recorder captured everything).
This is one band that absolutely needs to be better known, and it may be time to do some proselytizing. They played Sunday night at the Freight and Salvage (I missed it due to a gig in Felton with Bill Evans) and seemed pretty happy with the gig, although they said there were only 20 people there. What? How can that be? Why isn't this band famous (or at least able to draw a couple hundred people in a supposedly hip, tuned-in place like the SF Bay Area). They've got two cute gals leading the band, one of whom plays the accordion and banjo and electric guitar; Keri is the best lyricist in pop music; they're funny; their songs are stuffed full of hooks and cool guitar lines.
OK, you're wondering about that "best lyricist in pop music" line. Examples:
I feel a podium under my feet / empty crates, encyclopedia
I feel a podium under my feet / sound alarms, invite the media
Refrigerator hums a song it claims the TV taught it
Just before it flickered out, left us fending for ourselves
Who needs pictures when there's music,talking walls and next-door neighbors,ceiling creaks and radiators
I’m going down the highway with a suitcase full of all my bad ideas
Going to check them out, See what I have been missing all these years
And as sure as a sharp corner comes a jack-knife kind of creepiness / Sweeps up and over me
there’s a sparkle in me wanting some catastrophe to drop whatever it is doing and come rushing
So maybe it's that part about them being funny. I mean all serious pop stars are of course . . . serious. Whatever, this is a band that needs to be on everyone's iPod, now. I'm ashamed to say I still haven't actually seen them perform. We can just be thankful that in Winnipeg, as Keri says, "if you can sign your name, you can get a grant" which is what's keeping them going to some degree. I assume they're bigger in their hometown and other hip spots in Canada.
Here's an MP3 of "Discarded Debris."