Rivulets

Music Showcase

SXSW Live Shots
Photo By Gary Miller

Rivulets

The Drink on 6th, Thursday 14 It was just one dude with a guitar. It was a little devastating at first, because Rivulets' debut on Low's Chairkickers Union label is so chock-full of atmosphere, desolation, and beauty, it had to have been the work of more than just one man. Then again, it's no secret that Rivulets is the alias of Minnesota native Nathan Amundsen, who was looking very fragile onstage at this early 8pm show, clad in black from head to toe, armed only with an acoustic-electric guitar and a mike. It was looking like one of those shows where the crowd completely drowns out the music onstage -- but thankfully only for the first five minutes. After that, Amundsen's gorgeous, reverberated tones gradually began to terraform the Drink on 6th into his own stark Northern wild, and the sparse crowd (of which seemingly half were journalists) either took off or shut up and listened, mostly the latter. His eyes squeezed shut under a jet-black mop, Amundsen used his loud-soft voice both as a poignant sword, slicing through the strummed chords, and as a reverberated atmospheric tool all its own. The words painted pictures of loneliness, hope, and longing, conjuring up memories of the late, great Codeine in the perfectly equitable balance of sound and song. Amundsen could have done better venue-wise than this troubadour-in-a-bar-type situation, but his determination was obvious, and to his credit, he pulled off quite well his brand of delicate under-the-stars music.

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