Laura Musselman Carissa's Wierd played a onetime reunion show at Showbox at the Market on Friday, July 9, in preview of the release of the Laura Musselman Carissa's Wierd played a onetime reunion show at Showbox at the Market on Friday, July 9, in preview of the release of the band's retrospective, They'll Only Miss You When You Leave: Songs 1996 - 2003, via Hardly Art Records on Tuesday.
Carissa's Wierd Showbox at the Market Friday, July 9
Showbox at the Market
Friday, July 9
Review By Kiernan Maletsky
The first Carissa's Wierd show in seven years and presumptive final one ever played out just like they said it would, which is to say just like all the others. Or at least it did on stage, where Mat Brooke stood there singing with his eyes closed and Jenn Ghetto sang staring at the floor.
This was a celebration of Carissa's Wierd, a band that trades in what is definitely not celebratory music. In these lyrics, no one comes out a winner. It's just heartbreak and letdown and the crushing weight of banality, written sparely and whispered and/or moaned into disjointed music. So they played it still and quiet, like they did before.
How this show was not like all the others was the crowd, which was, as Brooke noted early in the set, the largest they'd ever played for. The Showbox didn't quite sell out (a little less than a hundred tickets -- the room holds about 1,100 -- were left at the end, according to a staff member), but there were still a shitload of people packed into that place.
Every song was greeted with cheers of recognition when it started and roars of appreciation when it ended. "So You Wanna Be A Superhero" earned the sort of ovation usually reserved for a sendoff, and as the screaming died down, Ghetto said, "That song didn't go quite as we planned."
Photo by Laura Musselman Jenn Ghetto
Despite everything that's happened, all the label signings (Ghetto with S, Brooke with Grand Archives and, before that, Band of Horses, drummer Sera Cahoone out on her own) and the forthcoming reissues of the entire CW catalogue on Hardly Art, the first people to tear down Carissa's Wierd are still Carissa's Wierd.
To be clear: it's not that they were ungrateful. They started saying thank you three minutes in and didn't stop for the entire 80-minute set. Brooke called the experience heartwarming. And they did have one surprise in store: a new song, which will probably never see the light of day again. Here are more-or-less its lyrics, minus repetitions:
Photo by Laura Musselman Mat Brooke
"You've been gone so long You can never go home again So long Song long it's all been swell."
You can never go home again
Song long it's all been swell."
Personal Bias: Based on the records, I think maybe a third of Carissa's Wierd songs are striking and the rest are boring, but I'll admit to experiencing some heartache during this show.
Overheard in the Crowd: During the opening notes of "One Night Stand," someone nearby said, "This is kind of a jam." Just so we're clear: Carissa's Wierd does not have a single song in its catalogue that qualifies as a jam.
Random Detail: Alongside the expected Carissa's Wierd merch (t-shirts, CDs, etc) were hot shorts. They sold out before anything else.
Low Budget Slow Motion Soundtrack For The Leaving Scene
One Night Stand
Brooke Daniels' Tiny Broken Finger
September Come Take This Heart Away
The Color That Your Eyes Changed With The Color Of Your Hair
All Apologies and Smiles, Yours Truly, Ugly Valentine
So You Wanna Be A Superhero
Blue Champagne Glass
Drunk with the Only Saints I Know
Alphabet on the Manhole
You Should Be Hated Here
They'll Only Miss You When You Leave
Blessed Arms That Hold You Tight, Freezing Cold and Alone
Ignorant Piece of Shit
Photo by Laura Musselman Sera Cahoone