Today the Monkey had a chance to catch up on some of the live concerts that NPR’s All Songs Considered has been posting recently.
These can sometimes be hit or miss, but the Monkey is pleased to report good news on two fronts so far.
Loney, Dear is the performing name of Swedish artist Emil Svanängen. The Monkey is vaguely familiar with the artist and a big fan of the song “I Am John,” but wasn’t sure how an entire 45+ concert would translate.
This concert was a very pleasant surprise. Not only were the stand-alone numbers great, but Svanängen did an excellent job of engaging the crowd. He used them as a chorus for his performance of I Am John, and generally created an electric, collaborative atmosphere that translated well from a club in Washington D.C. to the drab gray cubicle where your Monkey narrator diligently toils.
The Monkey then listed to a performance and Q & A session with the artist M. Ward in support of his new album. This is part of a new All Songs Considered “First Listen” series that has already featured Andrew Bird and Animal Collective
The Monkey is a casual fan of M. Ward as well, and wasn’t sure what to expect from the concert. His performance here is great, though. He does a couple of stripped down, acoustic versions of some of his new songs and some older favorites. Highlights include the new song “Never Had Nobody Like You” and the classic “Chinese Translation.”
The Monkey’s one greedy lament is that there is more time dedicated to the Q & A session than the performance on this one.
Here is a link to the All Songs Considered Site where you can download both concerts.
And here is a song from each artist.