Our good friend Matthew made sure that one LA experience we had was a Jon Brion show, so I felt absolutely horrible when Jim, Laura and I began dozing off early in the performance!! In our defense: we were totally jet lagged, it was warm and dark, and Brion was playing soft, Aimee Mannish piano tinkles that could easily be released on a collection of lullabies.
But things got wildly entertaining and even the most tired of us perked up when Brion began a mind-bending and mind-blowing cover of Tomorrow Never Knows complete with a Maria Callas video loop, his own looped drumming and guitar, and video of a great looking George Harrison. The rest of the evening consisted of more audience-requested covers (though none of mine took: Sex in the Kitchen, Pony, Thunder Road…) including a xylophone and audience participation version of Don’t Stop Believing, a trippy Wish You Were Here and a straight forward acoustic rendition Gigantic. It was invigorating and amazing to watch: every element of the songs he performs is created right in front of you. He’ll start on the piano, then drums, loop them then add guitar, loop that, they play around with video and voice… it’s totally amazing.
I had no idea what I was in for: admittedly a dunce when it comes to the modern soundtrack scene of Paul Thomas Anderson, I figured Brion was a comedian or something, but in fact he’s the highly respected genius behind not only the (PT) Anderson soundtracks, but the production of Aimee Mann, Rufus Wainwright, Elliott Smith, Kanye West, and Fiona Apple records!
At the new Largo location, the show seems to be almost monthly and sells out quickly; be sure to arrive on the early side to get pick up your tickets if you desire up close seats.