I like a woman who is unafraid to be her outspoken, dark-humored self in front of the audience — a woman who is part Chan Marshall, part Julie Doiron. Wye Oak played the Independent last month, and guitarist Jenn Wasner encountered some technical difficulties. Between excessive apologies for the state of failing pedals and amp, Jen continuously cussed out her gear and promised the crowd that it would all be replaced before they came back with their next record. It was doubtful that anyone on the floor found the apologies necessary or wanted his or her money back, and whether or not the sound was ideal in Wasner’s mind, she left us entertained in an unintended way.
I’m not implying that the Brooklyn folkstress Sharon Van Etten has a potty mouth, and I don’t mean to jinx her instruments, either. But Van Etten is rumored to be a performer by all accounts, a “chatty Kathy” with not only the talent of heartwrenching song craft, but also of charming her crowd. Onstage personality: a huge plus. She’s currently supporting Junip (Jose Gonzalez’ new band) on tour, with a stop at The Independent this Saturday. Please follow us on Twitter that evening for a live transcription of Van Etten’s stories and set commentary as she gets comfortable with her San Franciscan audience.