Philly, Thursday evening, 80 degrees outside. Courtney Barnett playing a packed Electric Factory with the Memorial Day weekend fast approaching. That, my friends, is hog heaven!
Courtney Barnett is a young Australian rocker. She has one full-length CD out, “Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit,” that has garnered lots of critical acclaim. It’s really compelling. She clearly is fast developing a sizable following, sort of like this blog site (haha, let’s hope for her sake that her career is on a different trajectory than BillyRocksPhilly).
Courtney is known for her singing style (sort of atonal, but accessible) and her lyrics. Her lyrics reflect a viewpoint that is raw, feminine, cynical, hopeful, and honest. But man oh man, she has A LOT to say. Her songs are not really raps, but they approach that genre in terms of word count – she could have been a lawyer. Suffice to say, this is not the Ramones. Regardless, she is clearly clicking with her fans, many of whom know every word, and have also memorized Moby Dick in their spare time, too.
So what about the music? Well, Courtney is a lefty guitarist, plays with a power trio, and has a grunge background. So she likes to let it rip. These are not the hook-laden songs I usually groove on, but they erupt at various times in blasts of guitar-driven grunge that work well for me. In my opinion, her best songs are those where she really decides to rock, like on “Pedestrian at Best.”
One thing she does know how to do is perform a show that is efficient, with a tight band that rolls through her songs. Her set-list is well-paced, and she ends with a rave-up that has the crowd feeling psyched at the end. Courtney falls prey to the dumbest tradition in rock music, the encore, but aside from that momentum-loser, she is a solid performer with pretty good stage chops.
Not a bad way to spend a Thursday night. I’ll have more on the Electric Factory venue later. For now, enjoy your Memorial Day weekend, thank a veteran for protecting the freedoms that we enjoy, and be safe. Thanks for reading. Oh, and here are some pictures of Courtney Barnett for your viewing pleasure.
My name is Bill, and I live in the greater Philadelphia area. I love music, and I have a lot of opinions. This site is primarily focused on music, but sometimes I get off track. I hope you enjoy.