Tiny Vipers: Live Last Night
Before Jesy Fortino, the Seattle singer-songwriter who goes by Tiny Vipers, even started her set Sunday night at the Red and the Black, people were already sitting on the club's floor. It made sense. Fortino herself performed sitting in a chair and her winding, longform, ethereal acoustic ruminations can make you feel a little weak in the knees.
It's certainly not standing music; it's more laying down music. Laying down in a field. Or on the beach. Or simply being in the middle of nowhere, by yourself. See that picture above? You won't find a more appropriate press photo -- Fortino serves up small songs meant for huge spaces.
(Read the rest of the review after the jump.)
There were a mere dozen people there to witness the majority of her set. (Let's just say a Sunday night gig at the Red & the Black is a long, long ways from Madison Square Garden.) In a way it was almost appropriate as the songs could do what they do best, casually float into open areas. Fortino works with a dichotomy of simplicity and grandeur. Her equally delicate voice and finger-picked guitar were the only elements she was working with Sunday night, creating a haunting, southern gothic vibe. Only on rare occasions did she actually strum and she played continuously for 45 minutes. The songs weaved into each other, the only pauses being her repeated requests for more reverb on the vocals. (Which never came.)
The grandeur came from her lyrics, particularly the time spans that serve as a theme. She sang of not being somewhere for "a thousand years" and of a time "before the Earth," which only added to the timeless nature of her songs. And even if it seemed like time was sometimes standing still, well, that was sort of the point. As songs such as "Slow Motion" and "Time Takes' prove, Fortino is in no hurry, and her songs are well served by that patience.
By David Malitz |
June 29, 2009; 3:01 PM ET
Live Last Night
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