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The Album Leaf play CT tonight; and how they grew on me

August 11, 2010

ALL THAT YOU CAN'T LEAF BEHIND: The Album Leaf play Milford, CT tonight.

MP3: The Album Leaf – Red Eye
FROM: Into The Blue Again

The first time I chanced upon The Album Leaf was in a record shop in New York City a few years back. But it wasn’t a stumble and fall so much as it was an episode of brutal record clerk rape.

The nerdy guy with the inch-thick glasses behind the counter told me I couldn’t buy the other handful of CDs I was trying to pay him for unless I also got The Album Leaf’s Into The Blue Again record. I needed it, he said. And I specifically remember Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros Global A Go-Go being in that stack, so it’s quite unfair how forced I was into the purchase of a record from a band I never heard of before.

But the packaging was rad. And the record label was Sub-Pop. And the clerk was obviously so profoundly in love with it (it was a used copy; not like he had to meet some sort of quota for the Album Leaf or anything). And it’s not like I’m chicken. So dare, I did. Plus he started going on about Sigur Ros, and Telefon Tel Aviv and Explosions In The Sky and was treating me like a human degradation for knowing of those bands, but not Album Leaf. And looking back, I see why that would give someone a minor hemorrhage.

I went home and fell in love. The album was an immediate cerebral massage of melty, ambient rock goodness; a great pan to sear my mutating, early twenties soul in. I fell in love with how evocative of sorrow, splendor, joy and spite the (mostly) instrumental record was. And, it makes incredible make-out music.

The song “Red Eye” in particular has moved me over and over since, popping up on mixes I’ve made for friends and helping soundtrack long drives through the night down lonely interstate highways, and early morning subway rides into Manhattan. And, you know, making out too.

Needless to say, I’m pretty excited to see the group tonight at Daniel Street in Milford, CT. I didn’t catch their latest record yet (A Chorus of Storytellers), but Jimmy Lavalle (the dude who runs the Leaf) has a full band for the project now and has brought them in tow for the live show. Stoked to catch how this plays, and to hear some of the new stuff.

Tickets are $12 advance, $14 @ door. 21 and over.

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