CATHEDRALS 6: SERA CAHOONE, GRANT OLSEN, TOMO NAKAYAMA, S
Just by taking a look at the local musicians on the bill, you can see that this round of Cathedrals should live up to its promise as a "rare contemplative indie concert." Sera Cahoone headlines the show at St. Mark's Cathedral, and if you slept on her album last year, Deer Creek Canyon, here's an opportunity to get familiarized. The title refers to the Colorado foothills where Cahoone grew up, and the album is all about returning home. The instrumentation vacillates between melancholic folk and gentle honky-tonk while Cahoone describes eerie visits to distantly familiar places. She strips away illusory membranes of comfort and safety in her songs, and eventually being back home for Cahoone arouses a kind of shapeless anxiety. When she begins to interact more with the people she's left behind, Cahoone becomes a shaking, nervous wreck. I couldn't recommend this album more to anyone who feels deeply ambivalent about notions of "family" and "home," especially during the holidays. Performing as S, Jenn Ghetto (whose earlier band, Carissa's Wierd, featured Cahoone on drums) is a coltish and gut-wrenching artist. Hushed vocals scurry over spindly guitars on Ghetto's humble eight-track recordings, their bleakness tempered by an alluring agony.
Grant Olsen, of Gold Leaves and Arthur & Yu, is a luminous and kaleidoscopic country singer. Some of Olsen's trademarks are bright, blossoming guitars, quivering Mellotron organs, and songs with an overall anfractuous effect. Olsen's surreal musical travelogues—featuring his abstract lyrics sung in a warm and shaggy register—often make him sound like a teddy-bear version of Lee Hazlewood.
You might have seen Tomo Nakayama recently during his scene-stealing turn in the latest Lynn Shelton movie, Touchy Feely. The leader of the chamber-pop outfit Grand Hallway, Nakayama can captivate audiences with his soaring voice alone, and his solo performances provide new dimensions to the group's ornate paeans. St. Mark's Cathedral, 8 pm, $12 adv/$15 DOS.