Reviewed by Dan Oko, Fri., March 21, 2008
DestroyerParish, Friday, March 14
Dan Bejar's contributions to the New Pornographers have made him a cult hero, celebrated in his native Canada and beyond for his reedy harmonies and complex lyrics. Yet Bejar displays little enthusiasm for being the star of the show, so when his twang-free side-project, Destroyer, faced technical difficulties at its late-night showcase, a major meltdown seemed probable. Indeed, Bejar submitted to the audience that the band would offer a lesson in "making do." Among the troubles, keyboardist Ted Bois was forced to play a borrowed Yamaha, which contributed to the band's performance fatigue. Introducing music from his new Merge disc, Trouble in Dreams, Bejar offered sarcastically, "Here's a song about wearing wool pants in Austin." In other words, the frontman wanted to be somewhere else. Despite efforts to sabotage the set, however, Destroyer eventually found a bit of fire. Drummer Fisher Rose kept driving the skins, providing a strong backbeat, while Bejar and his guitar team rocked new material, including "Dark Leaves Form a Thread" and older songs such as "Snow White." Sloppy psychedelia emerged the order of the evening, Bejar ultimately demonstrating that he really does care whether or not what he has to say gets a hearing.