• Two Camera Obscuras? Curiouser and Curiouser...

    Fev 12 2008, 4h08

    I've put this journal entry off for quite some time. Partially because I'm lazy. The other reason is that I've been so swamped with work that I can't really do much of anything else. Thankfully, I have no classes tomorrow and I can spare enough time and effort to uselessly rant and rave. Mostly rave, though.

    A casual glance at my profile would make it clear that I am a bigger fan of the indie/rock genres than the hardcore/electro genres. It should be noted that I enjoy listening to both. I'm cool like that. Haha. Anyway, I heard of the Scottish Camera Obscura through the band Belle and Sebastian. There were many comparisons with the two bands, so I figured there would be no harm in giving them (Scot CamOb) a listen.

    Shame on anyone who compared them to B&S. There was a song or two where I could hear some similarity between the two, but I wouldn't go as far as calling Tracyanne Campbell the female Stuart Murdoch. I just say that because I remember reading an article somewhere online where there was a whole slew of comparisons between them. If I remember correctly, the writer even bothered to note that Isobel and Tracyanne have the same last name. Bah, whatever.

    So yeah, after several months of listening to the lovely Glasgow band, I glanced at the albums listed on I then noticed the album To Change the Shape of an Envelope. Unlike the other albums, this one did not have any previewable tracks. Troubleman United is not the record label in which the Scottish Camera Obscura is signed.

    So I googled this album and after a bit of searching I found the label site (at least I think...) here:

    I downloaded the two available songs "Aeronautical" and "Twenty Five Diamonds." Let's just say I felt like banging my head. In a good way. In these two songs, I heard traces of The Faint, the guest bedroom, and just a touch of Kidneythieves. Clearly, if you're into the Electro-punk hardcore scene, then this Camera Obscura is for you.

    I should also note that I'm the sort of person that likes to understand the lyrics to the songs that I listen to. In other words, I like to understand what the singer is singin'. I had a bit of trouble deciphering the lyrics the singer was blaring out, but it didn't bother me as much as it did with crappy hardcore bands. The music set such a mood where I just felt like rocking the hell out and dancing around like a crazy person.

    The shoutbox in the "To Change the Shape of an Envelope" is kinda on the negative side towards the Scot. Camera Obscura. Oy vey folks, if I could even find a pic of the San Diego Camera Obscura, I'd make a double pic of the two bands and upload it! Unfortunately, the San Diego band disbanded. Phooey.

    Though the bands have the same name they are musically on different wavelenghths. The Glaswegian Camera Obscura is the band I'd listen to if I'm feeling mellow (or need to get mellow). Great for sipping tea on a rainy day (or any day). Nice driving/travelling music. I fear that if I listen to the Californian Camera Obscura in a car, I would cause accidents due to excessive head bangin'. Kinda like "Wayne's World" but worse because New York traffic is atrocious.

    To conclude, both bands are balls to the wall awesome, but it totally different ways.

    If anyone wants to really complain about different bands with the same name, take a look at the Bis page:


    It's like a warzone in there ^_^;
  • neat-o

    Ago 26 2007, 4h35

    Fri 24 Aug – Camera Obscura, The Last Town Chorus

    Well, I suppose we should start off with the opening act, which was The Last Town Chorus. Unfortunately, I couldn't quite understand the words to the songs she sang, though I will say this: she plays a really mean slide guitar. I say this as a compliment, of course. Slide guitars should pop up more often in music.

    She also did a great job of interacting with the audience. Sure, she went a little overboard at times ("My dog's name is Sailor!" and "My mom would like me to perform a song about Brooklyn!"), I find it commendable when an artist goes out of his/her way to make their show seem a little more personal. For future performances, she shouldn't mention her dogs or family members. Her love for specific geographic locations was fine enough.

    After what seemed like a ridiculously long break the headliner finally appeared. I don't remember the song they opened with, but I was grinning from beginning to end. Tracyanne Campbell is one charming, witty gal. I just found it slightly frustrating that during breaks in songs, she tends to turn her back to the audience.

    Somewhere around the middle of the performance, there were small problems with sound. It wasn't much of a problem, since the band recovered rather quickly. I've heard complaints around the internet that Camera Obscura live shows are on the bad side because of very little audience interaction. This was not the case, because I found them to be quite engaging.

    There were several douche-y people in the audience, but something like that couldn't be helped. After all, it is Manhattan on a muggy evening.