Phosphorescent – Pride
Dead Oceans, 2007
Acquired: Love Garden, New, 2007
Phosphorescent bandleader Matthew Houck is probably the nicest musician I ever met (he was super sweet to me when I asked for a station ID and seemed to really appreciate my liking his music). The first year I went to SXSW in 2008, I ended up seeing Phosphorescent three times or so. I saw them the first afternoon and then later that night when I went to see Shearwater. I had planned on missing Phosphorescent, as I'd seen them earlier (and seen them the week before in Lawrence), but I'm really, really glad I showed up when I did. They'd only just started, and were layign into “My Dove, My Lamb,” my absolute favorite song from Pride. I never thought I'd get to see them play it, because it's so long and all, but it was spectacular, all bathed in blue light at dusk. Perfect. They also played “Wolves” and “A Picture of Our Torn Up Praise,” which sounded even better than they do on the record. On top of that was a cover of Leonard Cohen's “Memories,” which absolutely broke my heart and I regret not buying Houck a beer after that. I listened to the original when I got back to Lawrence, and it was kind of schmaltzy. Their version though, fuck, I've spent the last two years trying to find a bootleg of it. I really think this record is a sort of masterpiece. I've been following them since midway through college when Chris C hipped me to Aw Come Aw Wry. In fact, when I saw them in Lawrence I shouted for “I Am a Full Grown Man” when they asked what we wanted to hear and they played it and it was amazing. They played it that night in Austin too, at the Mohawk, which may just be my favorite venue ever. BUT, this record rules. It came out on Dead Oceans records when I thought they were unfallible. They're still a really fucking excellent label and they've only put out a couple of bad records. This is a great one, though.