Last night, while walking up Pike, past the Comet Tavern- I was


Last night, while walking up Pike, past the Comet Tavern- I was halted in my tracks. It was as though the music within had morphed into ropes of spiderweb strength, reaching through the open windows and grabbing me, pulling me back. Inside, the showroom was nearly empty, but the two guys onstage didn’t seem to be aware at all. Completely focused on the task at hand the two were putting on an incredible show. Sadly, it was their last song, so I disappointedly continued on my way, but not before checking the lineup. They turned out to be San Francisco based Birds & Batteries, and after last night’s snippet I gave their full-length self-released I’ll Never Sleep Again (recorded at SF’s Tiny Telephone studio)a good listen.

Their music draws you in, wraps you up then lays you down gently, lush with well-placed electronic elements that mingle with the woeful steel guitar. It sounds something like what I imagine Neil Young’s Harvest could have been in an alternate universe, had it been recorded in an industrial warehouse rather than a Northern California barn. (The opening track on the record is a haunting cover of "Heart of Gold").

Later on, while recounting the story, not one, but two friends, at separate times had been halted as well, saying what they heard was so good they had to stop. The boys, Mike Sempert and percussionist Brian Michelson head south to PDX next for shows at Mississippi Pizza (tonight) and the Funky Church (tomorrow). They’re working on booking a fall tour, which hopefully will afford the chance to see a whole Seattle show.