March 3, 2008

There is so much more to love than black and white :: Amos Lee on KCRW

I’m sitting in a hotel business center in San Francisco paying 49 cents a minute to hop online real quick using what sounds like dial-up. Awesome. The Noise Pop Festival and related blogger-nerd activities have been an absolute hit this weekend. There’s been great energy in the crowds, some surprising new talent, an even waffles for free. Yes, free waffles at the Noise Pop Expo. Pretty sure it doesn’t get much better than that.

While I process through some of the new music I’ve seen, here’s what San Francisco makes me feel like singing. The newest live set added to my iPod is from Amos Lee, and it’s one that I’ve been looking for on and off for over 2 years now. Every now and again I would half-heartedly click around on some sketchy torrent site looking for it, find questionable Romanian links, and eventually chicken out and not end up downloading anything. But I wholeheartedly and completely adore the gorgeous honesty in his voice and the stark, soulful way that it shines in a live setting, so when I finally found his set archived on the KCRW site I decided to take matters into my own mp3-ripping hands.

Amos Lee first popped on my radar in May of 2005 while I was travelling to Seattle for a conference. I went right out and bought his self-titled first album (out on Blue Note) and have fiercely loved it since. He’s almost exactly my age, maybe one year older, and used to be a schoolteacher in Philadelphia for a time before he struck out with his musical career. For a relative newcomer, he’s had some pretty impressive gigs opening for the likes of Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Van Morrison, Elvis Costello, and John Prine. Incidentally, he does a beautifully sad cover of Prine’s “Speed Of The Sound of Loneliness” that I truly love.

So it’s been me and Amos’ music for the travelling portion of this trip to the gorgeous city of San Francisco. Something in his songs makes it perfect for walking around some fresh downtown somewhere, or sitting just looking over the city.

LIVE ON KCRW, 3/25/05
Seen It All Before
Keep It Loose, Keep It Tight
(watch him do this at Abbey Road)
Bottom Of The Barrel
Give It Up
Supply and Demand
Arms of a Woman


If you want to hear the interview portion, you can stream the whole show here. There was also a very interesting article about him and his 2006 sophomore album Supply and Demand in the NY Times.


  • Thanks for posting on Amos. He’s an incredibly talented cat. We knew that even when he was bartender at the Tin Angel here in Philly first starting out. We love him, he loves us! And keep an eye out for his pal Mutlu, coming soon to a major label near you.

    Bruce — March 3, 2008 @ 2:35 pm

  • Cool interview – I’m listening to it now. I’ve seen Amos Lee twice now – he’s a talented guy.

    Andrew — March 4, 2008 @ 11:50 am

  • Thanks for the bootleg. I’ve never heard Amos before. I have to say I enjoy this one. He is not the most popular artist in Poland :) Thanks again.

    sond — March 10, 2008 @ 3:55 am

  • Did you have to take the .mp3 rip down?

    Charlie — April 8, 2010 @ 9:23 pm

  • No, it’s just a really old post….

    browneheather — April 8, 2010 @ 9:59 pm

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Bio Pic Name: Heather Browne
Location: Colorado, originally by way of California
Giving context to the torrent since 2005.

"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It's the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part..."
—Nick Hornby, Songbook
"Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel."
—Hunter S. Thompson

Mp3s are for sampling purposes, kinda like when they give you the cheese cube at Costco, knowing that you'll often go home with having bought the whole 7 lb. spiced Brie log. They are left up for a limited time. If you LIKE the music, go and support these artists, buy their schwag, go to their concerts, purchase their CDs/records and tell all your friends. Rock on.

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