Braving the inclement weather and block-wrapping lines outside the Canal Room last night, your intrepid FADER blog staff squeezed into the Jon Brion marathon to see the musical shape shifter/singer/songwriter play two back to back shows for a total running time of something like five hours (and dude has another show tonight - just sayin!). Unless you have actually factually been asleep for the last five months, you’ve probably heard that Brion’s been on the grind, huddling in the studio with Kanye and Rhymefest; the shows last night, however, were instead a heady sampling of the smarty pants rock stuff Brion was formerly best known for, jammed at places like Largo in LA (where he’s had an ongoing weekly gig) or shown off in production work with Fi Apple and songwriting for I Heart Huckabees.
Among the potable notables were a cover of "Roxanne" (played through voxbox), a cover of "Hava Nagila" and his version of Tom Waits doing the Beatles’ "Help". Your man managed to play and loop back pretty much every instrument on deck, from guitar to keys to drums to, like, ukelele (or at least that’s what we thought it was), to create the 21st Century uber-equivalent of a whiz kid organ grinder, blasting off into full versions of Zep’s "Kashmir" and then morphing into the fab four’s "Dr Robert". Yeah, we know that’s a lot of adjectives and nouns and song titles to string together but honestly Jon Brion is crazily thorough. If we needed someone on French Horn detail, (or, like, any other instrument) he’d be our man.