The Besnard Lakes
Black Cat Backstage
May 27, 2010
Who’s got the best falsetto in rock? Jeff Buckley? He’s dead. Morrissey? He never broke it out after “Miserable Lie,” and let’s all admit that he can’t really sing, anyway. Brian Wilson? Yes, probably, but he’s fat and insane like your mom, and I’d rather not discuss him.
So that leaves us with latter day castrato Jace Lasek of Montreal’s Besnard Lakes. I last saw Besnard Lakes during SXSW with Jumbo Slice and Baby Stew Steve at WOXY, which was fun, although WOXY vomited blood and died like two days later. Note to media outlets—do not allow any members of DC Rock Club up in your shit because you will regret it, as WOXY and Sunday Source can attest.
This time around, I saw the band with Potsy at the much-less-glamorous-than-the-WOXY-studio-during-SXSW back room of the Black Cat, but the band still laid down the wood and gave a great show. All Montreal bands seem to look like they sell mushrooms to undergrads on the side and the Besnard Lakes are no exception. Lasek has a shaggy haircut with bangs and what looked like one of those pairs of glasses of the type that darken when you step outside into the sun, presumably after being inside all day laying down tracks on your prog rock masterpiece with your friends Emerson, Lake, and Palmer. I would make further catty comments about the other band members’ appearance but I couldn’t really see them, as they broke out a smoke machine, which is a lot like letting your Chevy run in the garage with the garage door closed, given the size of the back room at the Black Cat.
Despite looking like smelly vagrants, or maybe because of it, the band sounded great as they tore through “Like the Ocean,” “Albatross” and “This Is What We Call Progress” (from the new The Besnard Lakes Are the Roaring Night). When I saw them at WOXY they freely admitted that they plagiarized the last from the great Philip Bailey/Phil Collins hit “Easy Lover,” and Potsy and I noted that the Black Cat ticket taker looked like he could be Phil Collins’s son, and that maybe there would be an attempt on Lasek’s life during the show Pantera-style, but nothing went down. They also did “Devastation” from The Besnard Lakes Are The Dark Horse, which was epic. I bought a band shirt—it’s a horse made of fire and it’s fucking bad ass and I am too when I wear it.
Before the show Potsy made a good joke that if he owned a freight company that specialized in moving oats from one place to another, he would call it “Haulin’ Oats.” I’ll end this review on that note.
Friday, June 04, 2010
The Besnard Lakes