Dinosaur in Trouble: proudly serving Twin Cities music geeks

Saturday, October 01, 2005


It really was a shame that Phosphorescent’s show at the Turf Club (Wednesday, 9-21-2005) wasn’t listed in any concert calendar. The City Pages, Radio K, and even the Turf Club’s website provided no information about it (not that the Turf Club’s website is ever that informative). Even we at Dinosaur in Trouble – the foremost authority on live music in the Twin Cities – didn’t know about Phosphorescent’s appearance until the day of the show. Needless to say, I was one of the lucky ones who got to experience this “secret” performance.

After a very impressive open stage at Ginko Coffeehouse, I headed down to the Turf Club to catch the openers. My friend Hema had been raving about recent 2024 signees, Duplomacy, for quite some time, so I figured I’d better get to the Turf in time to see them. Although their feet were superglued to the floor, they did put on a very pleasant set. Their simple songs were instantly memorable and very well written. There’s already been a lot of talk about their forthcoming full-length…I know I’m excited.


The sparse audience was treated to Ben Weaver’s peculiar country rock next. I’ve always been a little creeped out by Ben Weaver’s vocal stylings. But that’s exactly why I like him (same reason so many people love Tom Waits).

My exhaustion finally caught up with me during Ben Weaver’s set (I stayed out late the night before at the Black Mountain show, it had been a long day at work, and while I was driving home from work, a wheel fell off my car). I was forced to sit down and close my eyes. I hope the band didn’t take it as an insult. Their music was actually very soothing in my half-awake state. It was exactly what I needed.

Ben Weaver

Thanks to Ben Weaver, I felt refreshed and ready to rock out to Phosphorescent. Apparently, when they play in their hometown of Athens, Georgia, they can have up to 12 musicians in the band. That’s obviously a little impractical when they’re on the road. I can assure you, however, that they were just as effective with five members in the band – they still had plenty of tricks up their sleeves. Matthew Houck (the singer and brains behind Phosphorescent) started the set in his infectious Will Oldham croon. Two horn players who were sitting in the back of the Turf Club soon joined him – it was Phosphorescent in 5.1 surround sound. The rest of the set was very fulfilling. Even though I was extremely tired, I did not want it to end. At least they went out with a bang. For their last two songs, they distributed an assortment of auxiliary percussion instruments into the audience. Almost everyone in the Turf had a tambourine, maracas, egg shaker, etc. I enhanced the songs by playing a mean jingle bells.

By the way, if you really want to impress your friends with your incredible taste in obscure indie rock, I strongly recommend picking up Phosphorescent’s latest release, Aw Come Aw Wry. It is an extremely cohesive, extremely beautiful album. But if you do pick it up, I’m warning you, you’ll be very sorry you missed them at the Turf Club.

Surround sound



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