Evan Kessler Dot Com

The Home of the Brave

Places to Go, Persson To See

Posted by evankessler on August 9, 2007

Monday nights during the summer are not particularly known for their excitement. They’re usually part of the two day recovery process between the active part of my weekend and Tuesday. However, when I received an email from Jason S on Monday morning listing a bunch of shows that he was interested in going to and attempting to gage other people’s interest in said shows, my Monday immediately became eventful. The first potential concert on the list was A Camp at Union Hall.

Earlier last week I had brought up to Arby that A Camp was playing at either the Mercury Lounge or the Knitting Factory and that I wanted to see them. Despite my initial interest, my original impulse was forgotten by both Arby and myself. This new email rekindled my desire to see some good music. For those who don’t know, A Camp is the side project for Nina Persson of The Cardigans fame. She’s one of the most delightfully attractive ladies in music since her face was plastered all over MTV circa 1996 when “Lovefool” was all over the charts as the most omnipresent single off of the Romeo and Juliet Soundtrack as well as their breakthrough album First Band On The Moon.

The Video for My Favorite Song Off Of First Band On The Moon (videos are fun)

Since that time, while somewhat less visible The Cardigans have continued to make great music. I own all of their albums since First Band On The Moon and fully enjoy Ms. Persson’s lyrical and vocal capabilities (Hooray for me. Aren’t I great?). Several years back while working on VH1’s Top 20 Video Countdown we would go out to record stores and have record clerks review a new CD. I befriended one of the record clerks and one day he recommended I pickup a copy of the A Camp album. I think he might have even made me a copy of the album but I never again returned to said store. Years later when I passed the store I wondered if that album was still waiting for me somewhere behind the counter.

Occasionally, while perusing record stores I would search for the album and would only find it in the Imports section so I shied away from spending $30 for an album unreleased in the U.S. My desire to hear A Camp remained tucked in the back of my memory until last week…and again hid from me for several more days before resurfacing thanks to Jason’s email.

Upon having my interest in attending the A Camp show piqued once again, I IM’d Arby asking him if he was interested in the show. He told me he was already going with Marie L. I felt semi-betrayed but not really. I went to ticketweb to get my own ticket, but much to my chagrin the tickets were sold out. I showed real determination by calling Union Hall to see if there were tickets available at the door. Luckily for me, there were 20 to be had so I arrived at Union Hall at 7pm to make sure I could snatch one up for myself. Unfortunately doors wouldn’t open until 7:30 so I left the bar and wandered aimlessly and made phone calls for a couple of minutes.

I returned at around 7:23 and resigned myself to waiting downstairs. When I arrived there were 2 guys waiting for tickets. One a weird 40-ish bugeyed guy with glasses that made it look as though one of his eyes was about to pop out. I couldn’t look at him without thinking that his eye was actually going to pop out so I refrained from looking at him. The other guy waiting was another 40-ish male who seemed normal enough but went on a bit too long about his Swedish ancestry as he made small talk with an Australian guy who joined the ticket line and when one of the guys in the band came out. Soon a cute blond girl joined us on the line and I didn’t feel like so much anymore like the audience would consist of a bunch of dorky older guys who thought Nina was hot in 1996, though I’m not saying that’s why they were there, they seemed to be music fans.

Soon enough we all got our tickets and I headed home to kill some time before A Camp’s set, which was to start a little after 10pm. I met Arby on the corner of 7th and Union at 8:50 and we headed back to Union Hall where we enjoyed a beer or two before Marie met us and we went downstairs for the show.

The biggest knock on Union Hall as a venue is the sight lines. There are none unless you are in front.The stage is about 8 inches off the floor, so if you’re short like me and tall people are in front of you (which they inevitably are) you really have to get on your tippytoes or crane your neck to get a good view. I somehow managed to do a decent job of seeing the stage and straining my neck. The show itself was a delight. Marie said it was “a cute show”. I was only familiar with one of the songs as it was a cover of Daniel Johnston’s “Walking The Cow” which I first heard on a Pearl Jam bootleg a while back. The band was tight and Ms. Persson has a beautiful voice as well as a pleasant stage demeanor. Her between song banter certainly added a bit of charm to a set which I was wholly unfamiliar with the material. While introducing the band she called herself “Nina P in the NYC on the M-I-C”. The music itself didn’t sound so much further from the more recent records from The Cardigans and the majority of the songs left me thinking,” I really want to get their album”. My favorites were probably “Algebra” and “Song For The Leftovers”.

Throughout the show I kept attempting to take good pictures despite my height disadvantage and my inability to get a crystal clear view of the stage. Instead of waiting for an open shot I reached about the head of the guy in front of me and tried my luck. Here’s the best picture I came away with.

I think we should concluded from that that I need a better camera with a higher pixel count. To compensate for my poor camera I grabbed a better picture from brooklynvegan.com. So here that is:

Notice the way that photo catches the light. Well, maybe if I had a better spot I could’ve gotten a better picture. Oh well. All in all the show wasn’t much longer than an hour. Afterwards Arby and I went to the Lighthouse and grabbed a few drinks before going home and calling it a night.

Tuesday and Wednesday were pretty quiet. I had a few drinks with a friend at Buttermilk on Tuesday and Wednesday went out to St. Dymphas Pub for Dan F’s birthday but neither night was too drink heavy. I only had one beer at Dan’s. As for the rest of the week…It’s time to get the hell out of the city. Yet another wedding is upon me, so I’m going to Rockland today (thursday) to get my car and drive up to Vermont so I can see my old roommate Kim O become Kim Baisinger. She’ll never have trouble getting a dinner reservation again.

Here are a few videos of the A Camp show I added after the fact…. The first is a clip of “I Can Buy You”

The second is a clip from their cover of Daniel Johnston’s “Walking The Cow”


One Response to “Places to Go, Persson To See”

  1. miguel said

    ahh how lucky.
    nina’s voice is probably the sweetest voice i’ve ever heard.
    i still have to see the cardigans live!

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