Somehow I managed to miss The One AM Radio every time Hrishikesh Hirway came through the NYC area. It wasn't intentional, as I wasn't purposely booking flights to leave town in an attempt to constantly dodge catching him live, but for some reason, some cosmic force was damn determined to keep me from those performances. I guess my first One AM Radio show was supposed to take place in Austin, which finally happened last night, and it was most definitively worth the wait.
The current incarnation of Hirway's traveling ensemble included live drums, cello, keys, guitar, trumpet and xylophone. Occasionally, slight bits of overdubbing were used for multiple trumpet harmonies or gentle beats via laptop. As lush and warm the production is on his latest album, This Too Will Pass, it was quite interesting to hear these pieces of sonic perfection brought to life on stage.
Most of the material on last night's set list was comprised of his most recent album, which was released on Dangerbird Records this past February. The live instrumentation help give songs such as "Lest I Forget" an extra punch, along with the bright trumpet towards the song's beautiful conclusion. One thing that Hirway is a master of is that of song arrangements, each song crafted like a classically trained composer. These songs have depth, both musically and lyrically.
Other songs performed last night at Mohawk included the somber "The Echoing Airports" and "In The Time We've Got," placing Hirway's gentle and honest vocals firmly in the spotlight. My favorite for the night was "Mercury," with its cool folk-tronic beat and the falsetto vocals at the end. I've always gravitated towards that particular song on the album, and live it is just as brilliant.
Hrishikesh Hirway, AKA The One AM Radio, is one of those criminally overlooked indie gems that deserves to be noticed. If you haven't heard his stunning latest album, click here to snag an MP3. He has a ton of tour dates left, so make a point to attend his show if he happens to be coming to your town. If you do, make sure you say hello to Hirway, as he is one of the genuinely nicest people you'll ever meet. He is good peoples.
08.07.07 Denton, TX (Rubber Gloves)
08.08.07 Abilene, TX (Monk's Coffeeshop)
08.09.07 Tucson, AZ (The Living Room)
08.10.07 Phoenix, AZ (Modified Arts)
08.12.07 La Jolla, CA (Che Cafe)
08.14.07 Los Angeles, CA (The Echo)
08.15.07 San Francisco, CA (Rickshaw Stop)
08.16.07 Portland, OR (Holocene)
08.17.07 Eugene, OR (WOW Hall)
08.20.07 Seattle, WA (Sunset Tavern)
08.23.07 Denver, CO (Mercury Cafe)
08.24.07 Des Moines, IA (Vaudeville Mews)
08.25.07 Milwaukee, WI (Cactus Club)
08.27.07 Chicago, IL (Empty Bottle - Free Show)
08.28.07 Detroit, MI (Scrummage University)
08.29.07 Cleveland Heights, OH (B Side Liqour Lounge)
09.05.07 Cambridge, MA (Middle East Upstairs)
09.06.07 New York, NY (Union Hall)
09.07.07 Philadelphia, PA (The Chapel Room - First Unitarian Church)
09.09.07 Washington, DC (DC9)