Daily Archives: August 3, 2009

Guitar Hero: M. Ward at the 9:30

M. Ward at the Glastonbury Festival, 27 June 2009.  Photo by Cavie78; used under Creative Commons license.

M. Ward at the Glastonbury Festival, 27 June 2009. Photo by Cavie78; used under Creative Commons license.

There’s an Old Navy’s worth of sartorial similes in which one could dress the songs of Portland retro-elegist M. Ward. But the one that fits best is to liken them to jeans or T-shirts “distressed” to look and feel older and more lived-in than they really are.

Ward’s ethereal, meant-to-sound-“found” alt-country-rock is soothing and undemanding; just soft-focus enough to hold his spot on the hipper-than-thou Merge Records label. It’s well-crafted. It’s listenable as the day is long. It just isn’t terribly exciting, particularly on a Friday night at an all-standing venue like the 9:30 club.
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