When Alex Schaaf aka Yellow Ostrich took the stage at Mercury Lounge last night without his shoes on, I muttered to my friend, “ooooo, I like him.” When he started playing, soaring, looping melodies with primal beats, my crush developed. When he introduced a song by saying, “This song is called Fog. It’s about…fog,” I turned into a giggling sixteen year old girl.
The evening started out with a set from Boston’s Echo Kings, a group of pretty faced boys that sound like the indie pop version of The Fray. The lyrics were predictable, but the lead singer and keyboardist had enough charisma to pull it all together. After a 45 minute set from Echo Kings, culminating in a not-a-note-different cover of Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall (Pt. 2)” complete with faux British accents, it was finally time for Yellow Ostrich to take the stage.
For those of you who took the advice of my fellow honey pie Nicole, you have already purchased Yellow Ostrich’s album Mistress on BandCamp and know that they are amazing. Live, the music is just as good; it’s just as rich and interesting, however, the flow of the set was slightly off. While I am sure live shows have gotten easier with the addition of drummer Mike Tapper (We Are Scientists, Bishop Allen), there are still downfalls to making as much sound as Schaaf does all on his own, namely there is a lull between songs. The computer turned off once, though it was back on within less than a minute and the duo was playing again, right where they left off.
Still, Alex’s easy charm and the overall quality of the music allows him to overcome this tiny obstacle and turn us all into highly impressed, and smitten 16 year old girls. At the end of the night, Schaaf noted that the crowd at Mercury Lounge was the largest that they have ever played. The duo starts a residency playing at Pianos in February, playing every Thursday for the month. Let’s hope that each of those shows is a new record in audience attendance for them. They sure as hell deserve it.
From The Wild Honey Pie, 1/5/2011: http://www.thewildhoneypie.com/yellow-ostrich-without-shoes-at-mercury-lounge/