Denison Witmer opened up for Sufjan Stevens and his cheerleaders last night at the T.L.A. on South Street. I hadn't been to the T.L.A. in ages, I think the last time I was there was for The Word which had to be a few years ago. I hadn't really heard much of Witmer's stuff but it reminded me of Ellis Paul who my roommate from Wisconsin freshman year in college used to play over and over. They may not actually sound anything alike, but that was my first thought. Witmer is a singer/song writery type but definitely has a nice sound. He has a whole album of songs about Philadelphia which is strangely titled Philadelphia Songs, off of which he played Stations. He told the crowd it was about 30th Street Station. The lyrics in this song had me thinking of my eerily similar personal experiences at said train station, good tune. Wednesday night was Witmer's CD release party for his newest effort Are You A Dreamer which he says will put you to sleep.
If you are not familiar, Sufjan Stevens has a rather popular album titled Come on Feel The Illinoise. (Anyone notice Amazon spells Illinois without the additional 'e'?) You can read what the deal with the album is at Pitchfork. I like the album and think the whole 50 states idea is pretty interesting. The show was pretty good, but something about a bunch of musicians dressed up as cheerleaders just didn't do all that much for me. It seemed a little too forced perhaps, part of me wanted to hate them. I didn't really hate them though. I thought they were pretty good. The shtick from the album didn't seem to work as well for me live. Sufjan has a killer voice and the groups harmonies were great. I think my favorite song from the album, Chicago, didn't really translate well because they lacked the strings to give it the full effect. I'd say it was a good show, but I feel like this is one of those albums or artists that doesn't really translate into a great live performance.
So after a little Googling I found this link which containts pictures of one of the attractive females in the band. She is also a model.