Thursday, October 29, 2009

Photos / Review: Dustin Wong,
Avocado Happy Hour, and Bethany Dinsick at Soft Fest

Avocado Happy Hour
Saturday night was yet another clusterfuck of shows in the city that reads, but those who chose Soft Fest were not disappointed. Of the handful of acts I was able to catch, Avocado Happy Hour, were just another exemplary showcase of Baltimore's more quiet tunes. The duo began their set playing a pair of large xylophones in the back of the space, setting the tone for their dynamic ambient pop sound.

A full range of hypnotizing electronic and organic keys painted the background of their pieces. Amanda's voice chimed in and mesmerized, creating mystery with simple melodic notes. A very peaceful and fulfilling set, and not the only of the night.

Dustin Wong
Dustin Wong's LP Seasons exemplifies what can be accomplished with multiple layers of guitar. Pulling this off on an album that spanned years of home sessions is one thing, but creating a live show based off these ideas is entirely different.

Armed with an arsenal of pedals and an electric guitar, Dustin Wong coated sheet upon sheet of looping melodies, all seamlessly interwoven with one another. This was an incredibly beautiful set, as Dustin dropped the jaws of onlookers within the entire space.

Bethany Dinsick played Sunday night, a folk singer with a stunningly luminous voice. The obvious comparison might be Joanna Newsom, but Bethany's voice is far less erratic and alien-like (in a good way). She painted pictures of tornadoes attacking hospitals and trees that can heal wrong with the aid of a bottle, and did so pretty freaking elegantly.

The use of hushed and hypnotic background noise tied things together, particularly with the application of a baby's white noise machine. I picked up copy of Bottle Tree from Miss Dinsick, an album that I look forward to indulging in quite a bit more. She described it to me as "meditational R&B", and I look forward to featuring more of Bethany Dinsick here in the near future.

Photos by Valerie

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