Report: Sharon Van Etten Live Portland


The adored/adorable indie chanteuse
charms ‘em at the Doug Fir Lounge, March 30. Opening act: Little Scream.


By Tim Hinely

Little Scream is a Montreal via Iowa trio led by the elusive Laurel
Sprengelmeyer (aka Little Scream). On her forthcoming debut record she got help
from all sorts of folks including a few Arcade
Fire-rs but  for the live show the band
was a trio. The sound was fleshed out by a violinist and a drummer who also
occasionally played guitars (and I swear I heard some loops in there too).  There weren’t a ton of hooks to be had but
Little Scream’s soaring/howling vocals coupled with the tribal drums and sawing
violin kept it interesting.


NJ bred/NYC
based Sharon Van Etten had no problem packing the Doug Fir Lounge nearly to
capacity on this Wednesday evening. She was joined by the rhythm section of Ben Lord on drums and Doug
Rule on bass. Van Etten is certainly personable enough while onstage, joking
with the crowd and even going as far as to say she “shouldn’t have had that
steak and milkshake before the set” 
(thinking it would make for some interesting burps). Once the songs started
all jokes were off as Van Etten’s beautiful, mumbly croon quieted the crowd. At
times sounding like a Cat Power Jr., Van Etten’s intensely personal songs were
perfectly aided by the economical, sturdy rhythm section. At times dense and
others sparse, but whatever the case, the songs always seemed to be fed just
what they needed to come into full bloom. I’d say she’s worth all of the press
and it’s nice to see that those darned critics know what they’re talking about
every once in a while.







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