When I heard that Other Lives was playing a show at the intimate Cafe du Nord venue in San Francisco, I was a little shocked. Hadn’t I just seen them open for Bon Iver at the Greek Theater in Berkeley? Didn’t I just get a press release announcing that they will be opening for Radiohead (Radiohead!!) on tour next year? I had to go see this for myself.
Indeed, they rocked the tiny stage in that San Francisco basement bar (after a brief bit of standup from lead singer Jesse Tabish’s uncle. Yes, really.) They played their set with as much gusto as they would to a crowd of thousands, drowning out my thoughts and making my bones vibrate. There’s no mistaking it — Other Lives is poised to break the ceiling of indie rock.
But you know what? We’ve already posted about Other Lives on the site, and I know that they are making their way to the top of many Best Of 2011 lists. So what I really want to do is talk about their opening act. I’m going to devote the rest of this review to a man by the name of Jesse Marchant, who goes by JBM.
Canadian native JBM has been described as having vocals similar to Bon Iver, M. Ward, and Nick Drake. He’s already shared the stage with the likes of St. Vincent, The Tallest Man on Earth, and Sondre Lerche. It’s a one-man act, but his sound is full and rich, and I was incredibly impressed (to say the least).
He’s releasing his sophomore album, Stray Ashes, in 2012, but I wasn’t able to get any tracks from it to stream here. I did, however, pick up his first album at the merch table, Not Even in July, and “July On the Sound” is streaming for your listening pleasure. Best enjoyed with a glass of red wine, if I do say so myself.