Plants and Animals at Schubas

Parc Avenue, the new CD by the Montreal trio Plants and Animals stands out in the pile of new music I’ve been listening to lately. I knew the songs were good when I was listening to the CD over the last couple of weeks, and hearing them played live last night (April 3) at Schubas just reaffirmed my opinion. Somehow, I pictured this band having more than three guys (maybe it was that cover photo showing the musicians surrounded by various other people).

There’s a cool sense of shagginess to the songs. Plants and Animals has a tendency to repeat one catchy line a bunch of times, but the band also takes its songs in some unexpected directions just when you think they’re about to end. When I first heard the closing track on the CD, “Guru,” I wondered what was up with the long instrumental jam that sounded almost, um, Pat Metheny-ish. OK, I was off with the Metheny comparison, but there is something jazzy about it. Hearing Plants and Animals do the song live last night, it struck me more like the modal guitar improvisation of “Eight Miles High” stretched out over several minutes, and it made sense alongside the other Plants and Animals songs.

It was a strong showing by yet another Montreal band. What’s in the water up there? Keep the bands coming, Quebec.

I haven’t replaced my stolen camera yet, so for now I’m stuck with my old point-and-shoot camera (an Olympus Camedia D-40 Zoom), and it took me a few minutes to remember how to use it. The lights at Schubas were pretty red last night, so I went with black and white for most of the shots. Photos of Plants and Animals.

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