Five quick thoughts on Sunday night's The Soft Moon/Majical Cloudz show at Double Happiness:
(1) While "Argo" and Affleck were getting their due and Jodie Foster was ruffling feathers and Justin Timberlake was making his underwhelming return, I was in a Brewery District bar watching a girl get eaten by a piano. Although I'd prefer to stay in touch with the outside world, I've got to hand it to Double Happiness for cultivating an atmosphere.
(2) The first thing that struck be about Majical Cloudz was Devon Welsh's unwavering confidence. Lots of frenzied frontmen have been known to get down on the floor and run wild through the audience, but few singers have the balls to stand down there and croon passionately, flashing an unbreakable stare now and then. He was the fey, scrawny Henry Rollins. Welsh brought along Matthew Otto to deploy Majical Cloudz' richly conceived synth wash (and on the last song, bass detonations!), but even if he was just singing over canned tracks this would have been stirring.
(3) In the paper I compared Welsh's voice to Stephin Merritt and Calvin Johnson, but in concert I found his range to be far wider than that. His heart-pouring baritone surged across the spectrum from Xiu Xiu to Coldplay, grazing the fragility of Sigur Ros while maintaining a prim, proper diction that'd do Morrissey proud. Dude is a virtuoso.