Damien Jurado was one of my favorite singers about eight or nine years ago. His albums Rehearsals for Departure (1999) and Ghost of David (2000) were particular favorites back then. “Letters and Drawings” remains one of my all-time favorite songs, but I stopped buying his records a few years back and sort of lost interest.
Well, I got an e-mail from Shake It Records last week announcing that Damien Jurado would be performing at the store a few hours before his headlining show at the Mad Hatter. The Mad Hatter is a stinky dive and I don’t go there anymore, but a free performance at one of my favorite record stores sounded like a good idea. I drove on down.
I got a good spot over on the side. Damien sat down in a chair and proceeded to play eleven songs over the course of the next 40 minutes. I once flew to Boston and paid good money to hear Sparklehorse play a show just a couple songs longer than that. And Damien Jurado sounded much better than Mark Linkous did. His voice was clear and powerful and he got surprisingly good guitar sound out of the Shake It speaker system. I don’t want to say I was blown away, but I was very impressed. He played “Ohio” (his second best song) and a few others I recognized. The rest of the set consisted of songs from the albums I skipped and a couple unreleased new songs. I liked everything. As always, here’s the setlist:
Setlist: Abilene/What Were the Chances/”…hand that’ll hold on…”/Arkansas/Ohio/Last Rights/Sheets/”Right now’s not the best time to fall to pieces.”/Denton, TX/I Am Still Here/The Killer
You might think that after seeing a performance like that that I’d buy a bunch of Damien Jurado merchandise. You would be wrong. I’m definitely going to fill in the gaps in his discography, but today I bought two Futurama Kidrobots, a Flight of the Conchords 7″, and a Nick Cave t-shirt. It’s not as cool as it sounds, though. I got the Mom figurine which is the only dud in the Futurama line. The b-side on the FotC record is their worst song ever. And the Nick Cave t-shirt doesn’t fit. I guess I should’ve bought Damien’s records instead. Oh well.