Tonight in Seattle:  

More Than Shapes: John Roderick + Neutral Milk Hotel = bliss

It's Tuesday, and that means another new release from More Than Shapes: The House Show songs. This time, it's one of my personal favorite moments from the night: John's incredibly compelling cover of Neutral Milk Hotel's "The King of Carrot Flowers, pt. 1". As Adam states, "...in the wrong hands a cover song can be a crutch, or an awkward homage, or a flashy attempt at credibility by co-opting someone else's. In the right situation though, a thoughtfully chosen cover song signals the turning point in a set like few other things can. It's a chance for a performer to say "this is what inspires me" without actually saying it." One could argue that in the realm of discussions on the topic that truer words had never before been spoken.

Many try their hand at the perfect cover, and few succeed. However, with those tries come a chance at brilliance: results like Eef Barzelay's ever-slaying choices come to mind, most notably his rendition of "Don't Stop Believin'" heard on his most recent trip through Seattle this past holiday season; or Nada Surf's delivery of "Enjoy the Silence" from the stage of the Tractor a few weeks ago, or the Postal Service's mindbendingly beautiful version of "Against All Odds". However, on this particular evening, with this particular group of folks, and this particular artist choosing this particular cover -- a magic moment took place that superceded any other cover we could recall to memory with the sufficient force needed to drown it out. This moment, this song, the combination of everything we love about John fused with the brilliance of Jeff Mangum in a crowded Ballard living room -- it was almost more than our collective hand-stamped hearts could take. It may be the shortest song in the series, but it's a contender for leaving the biggest mark.

Give it a listen and see for yourself. And if you haven't seen them already, there's two other releases earlier this month that you can take the time to soak in here and here.

{Special thanks to Laura Musselman for putting this request in the jar at the show!}

This is one of my most favorite things ever!!!

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