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John Shade at the Lizard Lounge, 5/11 and 5/18

John Shade at the Lizard Lounge, 5/11 and 5/18

john shade

I haven’t seen John Shade play with the Neave Quartet yet, even though he had a month long residency at the Armory, a few other shows around town and played the May Fair (I even went out into the crowd to check it out and missed it, when I got there some 15 year old kid was singing “Skid Row” from Little Shop of Horrors.) His debut album, All You Love Is Need, does not include the quartet, but it is still a beautiful album. The songs are light and funny but if you listen closely to the lyrics you’ll hear that the songs are fueled by melancholy and loneliness. Kind of like Jon Brion, but with less glockenspiel (Brion has also been known to use string quartets too.)

My favorite song off the album is “Tragedy” which I’ve been digging for a while now. I heard him sing it at a Sub Rosa show at the Lizard Lounge (Where he is also having a residency on Tuesdays in May). It floored me. "Tragedy" is beautifully composed, the melody is languid and sunshiny like a Van Morrison song, although the lyrics are heart-breakingly, well, tragic. His song, “I Hate the World (and Everyone in it)” always gets a laugh at shows. It’s actually a very depressing song despite the hopefully climatic melody, which is awesome.

But again, I haven’t seen him play in way too long. I always miss his shows, which is why I’m asking you all to go make up for my lack of not going. All You Love is Need is one of the best albums I’ve heard lately, John Shade is one of my favorite area musicians and without a doubt, he has the best sense of humor.

You can hear a track he recorded with the Neave Quartet HERE. He’s got two more weeks of the residency left, he plays with Viskesh Kapoor (May 11), and Jocie Adams from The Low Anthem (May 18). Lizard Lounge 1667 Mass Ave Cambridge, MA

--Meghan Chiampa

Published: May 11, 2010 |

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