200 Years @ Zebulon Concert Cafe - April 15, 2012
Every now and then I find myself developing an attachment to a band that evolves from simply discovering the artist randomly, listening to their music repeatedly, and finally, seeking them out in a live setting. This exact scenario took place for me over the past four months, which culminated in witnessing the lovely duo of 200 Years (featuring Ben Chasny and Elisa Ambrogio) at the quaint Zebulon Concert Cafe in Brooklyn on Sunday night.
It was a late show, and the imminent summer heat began to make the small venue a bit uncomfortable, but that didn't make it too less enjoyable for the relatively full crowd. The beauty of 200 Years' music lies in the subtle details of the soundscapes they creat--the dissonant overdriven scratching of Ambrogio's guitar strings, the way Chasny doubles her vocals in a Lou Reed-esque harmony, the airy synth sounds that creep up during choruses--all mastered within mellow and melodic songs that could just as easily been written in 1967. And all expertly recreated in a live setting that fit the characteristically relaxed venue to a tee. Practically all of their debut album was performed, and aside from an amusingly awkward anecdote about Neil Young lyrics, there was no stage banter throughout the forty-five minute set. Not that anyone was exactly egging them on for it.
It's difficult to predict where a duo such as 200 Years might end up in the coming years, that is if they continue to perform as this side project rather than in their respective musical outlets (Chasny with Six Organs of Admittance and Ambrogio with Magik Markers), but if you do ever get the chance to see them live, I highly recommend that you do. In the meantime, you can order their sole record directly from Drag City.
The show was the end of a brief tour for the duo, who only have one more show on the horizon in Montreal on June 18. Check out some photos from Sunday night's show, including a couple shots of ethereal opener Rowan below...