Read the Bastard!
The Magnetic Fields / Holcombe Waller
Vogue, Vancouver BC March 18
By Alan Ranta
The penetrating lyrics of Portland's Holcombe Waller were matched only by the ecstatic sonority of his voice. Performing his brand of contemplative baroque pop and indie folk with a violinist, cellist and multi-instrumentalist, who alternately provided piano, violin and guitar, Waller's pained and heartfelt voice blossomed like a mushroom cloud in slow motion. Among many stirring selections from his latest album Into the Dark Unknown, his cover of Buffy Sainte-Marie's "Qu'Appelle Valley, Saskatchewan" sent waves of chills throughout the docile crowd hypnotized by his formidable talent.
Yet, for as moving as his music was, Waller had a laid-back, lighthearted demeanour that provided some levity and release for his otherwise enveloping sentiment. …