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The Yellow Bird Project Hosts Murray Lightburn Acoustic Set

Posted by Christine / September 7, 2009

20090907-lightburn1.jpgSecret shows have always been a mystery to me. As a journalist, I pride myself on a certain level of alertness and keenness however, perhaps embarrassingly, I had never successfully been 'let in on the secret' of a secret show, so to speak. Instead, I often found myself grappling with a broken telephone of rumoured start times and locations of such and such incredible, fantastic, not to be missed secret set; later to be greeted by an impossibly long line or tight security.

However, last Saturday, I was finally afforded the opportunity to grasp the rather ephemeral nature of the secret show, bearing witness to an intimate acoustic set by Murray Lightburn, of The Dears.

The event was set up to promote The Yellow Bird Project, which is a non-profit organization that has popular indie-rock bands design t-shirts to benefit the charity of their choice. According to The Yellow Bird Project's flyer, "Indie-rock bands are leaking creativity. We say, why not harness their magical indie powers to help those in need?" And the list of 'magical,' participating groups is indeed truly impressive, among them: Stars, Wolf Parade, Bon Iver, Of Montreal and Broken Social Scene.

The organization's founders, Matt Stotland and Casey Cohen, were present for the show, which specifically celebrated the launch of their Indie Rock Colouring Book; a colouring book capturing the spirit of various indie-rock bands with unique graphics, penned by illustrator Andy J. Miller.

The event took place at a tiny, whimsical bookstore called Drawn & Quarterly, located on Bernard, near Parc. I carefully examined each bookshelf and was increasingly pleased (heck, downright giddy) about what I saw. Not only does Drawn & Quarterly house a rather impressive array of personal favorites, (authors like Cormac McCarthy, Michael Ondaatje, Herman Meleville and Jack Kerouac) they also have an excellent collection of comic books, cookbooks, and art books, which could surely serve as perfect, coffee table bricks. Placed inconspicuously among them was the Holy Grail. What I mean by that of course is that there was a signed copy of Neil Gaieman's The Sandman. Be still my beating heart!

The packed venue had the expected fashionable older crowd, however, scampering around, weaving clumsily through people, and unapologeticlly devouring the baked goods and juice offered, were clusters of children. This definitely added a carefree and endearing element to the show, especially when Lightburn's daughter rose and offered him a cookie in the middle of a song. Later in the set, a little girl in a pink dress shouted, "I want ice cream!" Lightburn dealt with the adorable interruptions without missing a beat, however, a chuckle or a wry smile would occassionally break through his professional veneer, betraying his amusement.

Among the songs Lightburn played were: "Hate Then Love," "Money Babies," and "Lost In The Plot." Lightburn's voice was soft and his face tightly winced with emotion when delivering lyrics. Though perhaps not the most technical of musicians, Lightburn's is a performance rife with sincerity, as he truly commits emotionally to every song he plays.



tair / September 18, 2009 at 08:24 am
what a great afternoon. Montreal needs more of this type of afternoon delight. Way to go... Yellowbirdproject Look forward to your next incredible event.

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