Plum St: Beauty and Dreams

Show Date: September 8, 2003

Poor Plum St.. It's hard to book a show for a Monday night. After all, rainy days and Mondays always get me down, it's Monday or forever, and I don't like Mondays. September 8, 2003 triumphed over this predisposed musical Monday adversity with an incredibly well-crafted line-up of melodic, mellow, melifluous, marvelous Monday music. And that's the last of the alliteration for now.

To start: The Stares, Saeta (who closed their set with an incredible Lesli Wood-sung rendition of the Smiths' "Last Night I Dreamt Somebody Loved Me"), and Ravenna opened a night so full-bodied and woody that I wished Chop Suey had had a bottle of their finest Chiani to offer. {For the record, I asked. My advice: never order wine from a bar that offers only one choice and they simply call it "red."}

Headlining this finely refined evening were Plum St., a local trio I'd never heard of until a few weeks back, when Heather Croft from Vegas in Flames slipped me a copy of their latest EP. I was impressed. Next thing I knew, Jennifer Maerz presented them as the recommended band to see — a suggestion I was sure to heed, Monday night notwithstanding.

With lush, verdant melodies and romantically heartfelt lyrics, Plum St. wooed the crowd with a delectable earful of sounds. Their gorgeously evocative music rang reminenscent of such illustrious musical influences as Joe Pernice, Jeff Buckley and "Karma Police" {and by that I mean, they had one song that sounded remarkably like "Karma Police," not that the band was a Radiohead knockoff}.

The lineup: Reed Hutchinson {songwriter, vocalist, guitarist, pianist, tall-dark-handsome-teenage-heart-throb} founded the band, Aaron Douglas {cellist} added the stringy lushness that can only come from a sit-down instrument held between the knees, and Jonas deVarona {drummer} provided a backbone of rhythm to sustain all the layers of stunning sounds. While I still maintain that "Reed, Aaron, and Jonas on Plum St." sounds more like a soap opera than a band, I'm thrilled these boys focus more on melody than melodrama.

The result? Plum St. possessed gentleness despite their strength, an edge despite their melody. So expect great things from this band. I do.