Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

The Soothing Uncompromising Experience 

Wednesday, Oct 17 2007
There's an excellent chance, given her singular approach, that singer/songwriter Laura Gibson will be tagged as part of the American neo-folk subgenre known variously as New Weird America, freak-folk, or free-folk. Gibson's songs are tantalizingly spare to an almost psychedelic degree, recalling mind-warped six-string bards Syd Barrett and Jandek. Like the later works of U.S. mod-classical composer Morton Feldman, it's as if the listener is hearing a snowflake’s formation or a flower opening (not unlike what you would see in a nature documentary) — as Gibson reveals on "Nightwatch": "My words ker-plop around the page." Her tender, deliberate vocals seem as if she's singing them to you from across a room, a bit above a murmur. The stark yet hopeful longing of a hymn possesses her songs' arrangements — with trumpet, viola, and musical saw, you could imagine "Broken Bottle" being played by a Salvation Army band at the turn of the century (the 20th century, that is). Unlike some of her more avant-garde peers, Gibson doesn't forget to feature engaging melodies, hushed and measured though they may be. Though it lacks heavy-duty dissonance and clangor, her debut disc, If You Come to Greet Me, is an intensely challenging experience — unlike some intensely challenging experiences, though, there are tiny, glistening rewards to be treasured by the intrepid.

Musee Mecanique (former members of Tristeza) and Snowblink also perform.
Wed., Oct. 24, 8 p.m., 2007

About The Author

Mark Keresman


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed
  1. Most Popular


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"