Monday, May 5, 2014


Give me something
So good and true
So good and true
That it hurts 
~ David Wax Museum, 'A Dog in This Fight'

Last Tuesday evening, I had the pleasure of seeing David Wax Museum at the Sinclair in Cambridge.  I'll be the first to admit that it's not easy for me to motivate on a Tuesday night; particularly when I know the band won't be coming on until 9:30.  But, that said, lead singer Suz Slezak is a new mom and the baby is on tour with them, so what the hell do I have to complain about?  She's the one not getting any sleep.  I had no excuse, I had to motivate.  To make it easier, I called a couple friends who are always up for some good, live music, and dragged them with me.  We grabbed a quick bite at the Sinclair Kitchen before the band came on.  I should note that this is a fantastic restaurant, and even though the bartender didn't seem to like us (no idea why), we had an excellent meal.  Then we headed next door for the show.  The band dove right in with Vivian, an upbeat, donkey-bone enhanced (yes, Suz plays a donkey jawbone) ditty that makes you want to drop everything and cut a rug.  And from there, we were off.

The band is comprised of the husband and wife duo, David Wax and Suz Slezak along with David's cousin, Jordan, and a few other members who filter in and out depending on the song.  Their music is primarily folk rock with Mexican Son and Americana influences.  Between the trumpet, Suz's shell and violin, the mandolin and the accordion, it's a total harmonic explosion.  Within minutes, I felt like I had been transported to Cuba and was listening to the band outside at a street cafe under the night sky.  The chemistry between David and Suz was tangible and it coolly seeped out into the crowd, steadily bringing our buzz to a new level with each song.  Suz's voice is so smooth it almost drips like honey.  Her sweet, songbird vibrations are the perfect accompaniment to David's deeper and sometimes rusty, drawl.  From their manager, Nate Erwin, I later learned that the band originated in Somerville, MA and that David and Suz met when they started playing together.  As I mentioned, they now have a 5 month old little girl who happened to be sleeping in the green room as they played.  I know this because about halfway through the show, the band paused between songs and Suz slipped out, letting us know that she was going to quickly check on the baby.  No joke.  Clearly, the baby has no problem sleeping through noise as David and crew immediately jumped right back in with Yes, Maria, Yes at full volume, happily keeping the rest of wide awake and on our toes.

After the show, I got to spend a little time with David and Suz.  I'm going to have to agree with Jason over at the No Surf Review who claims that they "may well be two of the chillest, most grounded, most genuine people in the music industry."  They love to play, they love their band, they love each other and they love the crowd.  And all of that showed on Tuesday night.  It was one of the most eclectic, high-energy, knee slapping, foot stomping shows I've seen in a while and, as I often am at the end of a good live music session, I was legitimately sad when it was over.   I think I can say the same for the ladies who came with me.  (for the record, it was midnight when we left, which is crazy late for all three of us)  After the last song in the set, as we waited for the encore, someone shouted, "God bless live music".  Amen to that.

Listen to this:
Harder Before It Gets Easier - David Wax Museum 

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