Friday, September 14, 2007

A FINE FRENZY @ The House of Blues

Vh1’s “You Oughta Know” tour came to the House of Blues earlier this week. On the bill was Seattle’s Brandi Carlile and Los Angeles local “A Fine Frenzy” fronted by 22-year-old Alison Sudol.

I was glad I got to go after being invited at the last minute. Screw going to sleep! I was in the mood for some good music and that’s what I got. Brandi Carlile headlined this night and she was the reason I actually decided to go. Her folk, alternative country sound is sweet and simple. Harmonies are pure all around. I’m sure she gets this a lot so I won’t make the comparisons with Melissa Etheridge. But I’m not writing this because of Brandi. No offense. She’s from Seattle. This is PICKSYSTICKS and I was enthused when I found out “A Fine Frenzy” was from Los Angeles (well, actually Burbank.)

Alison Sudol: Piano, Vocals
Stephen LeBlanc: Guitar, Bass, Keys
Daxx Nielsen: Drums, Guitar
Official site
Myspace Page

photo by Melinda Dahl

Don’t let the name fool you. A Fine Frenzy refers to the music. In a sense it’s a contradiction. Ordered chaos? But it’s neither. Think of it like an impressionistic Monet painting. Deep and layered. By itself, each brush stroke, like each note, doesn’t really capture the imagination. But with more carefully placed brush strokes, the painting comes to life. Take a step back and you start to see a beautiful landscape. That’s what “A Fine Frenzy” sounds like.

Alison’s ability to construct melodies that are haunting yet simple can be heard on “Almost Lover” and "Come on Come Out." Their debut album, “One Cell in the Sea,” is sure to get the Tori Amos and Sarah McLachlin comparisons. As much as we all want to categorize artists, in this instance, it’s really not fair because each artist does have their own sound. But what separates “A Fine Frenzy” from Tori and Sarah is the texture in which Alison is able to weave a rich arrangement of drums, bass, guitars and piano together with a little bit of soul. What category what that be in? Is there an impressionistic category? Oh well…just listen to these guys when they hit your neighborhood. Peace out!

I'll leave you a cool video of A FINE FRENZY singing "Almost Lover."