In recent weeks, I’ve had trouble deciding whether I should be posting recordings from oldest to newest, and catch up on my backlogs, or jump right to recent recordings so they’re online while still fresh, before they become a backlog themselves.
Then, quite accidentally, I stumbled on a way to do both simultaneously.
Having seen so, so many bands, it’s important for me to write about and post the recording for an artist almost immediately, while the experience is fresh. If left too long, the memory (especially if it’s a band I’m not familiar with prior to the performance) is apt to just fall right out of my head. Megan Bonnell‘s opening set for Nicole Atkins at the Drake Underground in December of 2011 is a prime example of that, and why the recording has sat collecting dust for so many months since. Luckily, and most peculiarly, Megan herself showed up to kick me in the ass and remind me.
It shouldn’t have happened: Wakey!Wakey! originally had Emilie Mover open up his original tour stop in Toronto in January but when Wakey!Wakey! got stuck in traffic for three-quarters of a day and was unable to make it to the show, the show was postponed until February. Another show, another opener; this time, Megan returned to the site of the original crime to remind me what a disservice I committed by allowing my previous recording to fall by the wayside.
The notes expertly played on her keyboard seem to perform a waltz around her precious voice — a tool she uses to great effect. From whispered, gravelly growls to bouncy almost-yelps, Megan bounces back-and-forth that is at once familiar and unique, and always engaging. Indeed, for both performances, the crowds at the Drake Underground were brought to a rapt, dumbfounded silence broken only by boisterous applause between songs.
The remarkable phrasing and song structure compliment an already fabulous formula. Although both sets were brief, they were bold statements.
The most recent statement? “Don’t forget about Megan Bonnell.”
I won’t. Not again.
. : : December 3rd, 2011 : : .
02. Lowell, MA
04. South Korea
05. Apple Trees
06. The Wind
07. Be A Man
08. Lake Superior
. : : February 20, 2013 : : .
01. Lake Superior
02. South Korea
03. Lowell, MA
04. The Wind
06. I Am Not Your Woman
08. Caught Me Thinkin [Bahamas]
09. You’re A Dreamer