I headed back to Club Passim in Harvard Square this week to see Carla Kihlstedt and Matthias Bossi, a duo calling themselves Rabbit Rabbit. Cambridge was the first date on their tour of the eastern U.S., which they are traversing in a rather fabulous retro tour bus (which you can apparently take a tour of with a special VIP package!). I’ve seen them a couple of times before and I’m a subscriber to their website, Rabbit Rabbit Radio, which is a very cool concept: every month you get a download of their latest song, a video, a collection of photographs, an inevitably-quirky top-ten list, lyrics, discussion, and access to all of their archives.
The two of them have an impressive and perplexing resume, having participated in bands anywhere from jazz to metal to rock and having collaborated with people like Tom Waits, Blixa Bargeld, Shahzad Ismaily, Fred Frith and Nels Cline. They are both excellent singers and musicians, and their shows are always full of wit and dry humor. Their songs run the gamut from charming and cute domestic affairs to some pretty dark and dramatic stuff. Perhaps because they record one song a month instead of going into the studio for a week to record a whole album at once, there is a lot of variety in the music they come up with.
Highlights of the show for me included “After the Storm,” inspired by family stories of Hurricane Carol – a beautifully haunting and lonely-sounding song. Another favorite was “Inside/Outside,” which Mr. Bossi described as “a self-portrait, in some ways, of what it’s like to be married.” You can see their studio version here:
Another one I really liked was “My Town,” described as “indirectly related to the [Whitey] Bulger saga.” (For my readers too far from Boston to have heard of him, Whitey Bulger is (more…)