11/15 Angel Olsen, Nettles, Generifus at Tea Bazaar

November 14th, 2012 · 10 Comments · By

I can’t believe I’ll be seeing Angel Olsen tonight. When I heard her song, “Acrobat,” I assumed she was actually an angel, too busy wearing thick ivory knits and scowling her white-blonde brows across the Scandinavian steppes to stumble through Charlottesville. Turns out she’s from Portland or something. Genuinely, though, “Acrobat” is a breathtaking song. It’s one of the simplest and most emotionally intense performances out right now. She’s one of those rare musicians whose raw talent – song writing, vocal gifts, and musical ingenuity – can make a song played on an acoustic guitar sound interesting the whole way through. People are probably drawing comparisons to Joni Mitchell. I see that, but Leonard Cohen comes to mind, too, because I listened to an album of artists covering him recently, and man did it suck (with 2 exceptions). I never noticed it before, but Cohen’s songs are moronically simple and repetitive. I can’t believe that he made them sound so urgent with only an acoustic guitar, but that’s why he’s Leonard and that guy at the coffee shop is a dipshit.

Anyway, Angel Olsen has written one of the most focused, convincing love songs of this year. I’m very excited that she’s a human from America.  And the whole show’s gonna be great, the aural equivalent of a scratchy sweater and tea. See you there!

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10 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Amanda // Nov 15, 2012 at 12:47 am

    And by tonight Carolyn means tomorrow (Thursday)! It should be a good show, and a nice way to escape the craziness that will be happening over at UVA due to a night football game.

  • 2 victoria // Nov 15, 2012 at 8:53 am

    i’m so psyched about this show, too!

  • 3 Walt // Nov 15, 2012 at 9:48 am

    i cannot wait for this show.

  • 4 Walt // Nov 15, 2012 at 9:50 am

    also, good call on the Leonard Cohen comparison, Carolyn.

  • 5 Carolyn // Nov 15, 2012 at 10:37 am

    Angel Olsen may have sung with Bonny Prince Billy when he played The Southern a few years ago. There was some towering woman / voice there, and apparently Olsen’s been playing with Oldham’s “Cairo Gang” since 2010 at least. Anybody got deets?

    – All Girl Detective Agency

  • 6 Carolyn // Nov 15, 2012 at 10:51 am

    NYT review of an Angel show @ Glasslands:


    We are so lucky to have her at the Tea Bazaar!

  • 7 Ben // Nov 15, 2012 at 10:55 am

    Actually, that was Sarah White. But yeah, she’s been touring with Billy for a couple years and is also on his most recent album and a lot of singles and stuff.

  • 8 Carolyn // Nov 15, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    Thanks, Ben!

  • 9 Jeronimus // Nov 17, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    Cohen’s songs are moronically simple and repetitive? Whoa now and you are…?

    Reminds me of this little bit of obscure corner smack-talk: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JhyktcgDczQ

  • 10 Carolyn // Nov 18, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    Jeronimus, thank you for reading and engaging with our blog. Musically, Cohen’s songs are laughably repetitive, but I will always be a great fan of his work because simplicity does not limit his effectiveness. Indeed, it probably enhances it.
    As to your general point, I believe that we honor the work of other human beings by honestly evaluating its worth to ourselves. While I would never aspire to transcend the level of dialogue you’ve referenced from “Do the Right Thing,” neither do I feel that I’ve overstepped my bounds by pointing out a problematic aspect of a “legend’s” work.