Stereogum Does CMJ: Craig Wedren, Erik Friedlander & Will Sheff Play Solo At Saturday Day Shows

That headline’s almost entirely true, too! Will and Erik really did play solo, at Music Hall Of Williamsburg and upstairs at Pianos, respectively; Craig was listed by his lonesome, but turned up with a backing band and a fan/friend we’re sort of in love with…

If you think we actually risked bothering Mr. Wedren and Ms. Amy Poehler by asking if we could take their picture, stop; Amy asked us to. But if she hadn’t, yes we totally would’ve bothered them with a paparazzi styled solicitation. Anyway, Craig’s set was aces, pulling from his many and various film soundtrack contributions (The Baxter, for one), stuff written with Shudder, and cuts coming on the next Wedren recording (already in progress). Craig’s sort of a hero around here, what with Shudder To Think, his David Wain/Showalter connection, and outstanding karaoke skills so, as expected, BV’s Saturday day party was one of the fest’s most memorable for us. John Darnielle/Courtney Love/Laurie Anderson collaborator Erik Friedlander performed immediately afterwards on the same stage with nothing more than a cello: running classical, legato/staccato arpeggios with great proficiency; getting modal with some drone tones; going “out” via skronky sounds, percussive taps on the cello neck, etc. Nice break from the run-of-the-mill guitar stuff we’d be seeing all week, classed up the joint. Check out some sounds at NPR.

And earlier in the afternoon, Okkervil River’s Will Sheff played AAM’s party at Music Hall Of Williamsburg, for which we made a very special trip from the East Village to Williamsburg and back. Will solo on guitar/piano was nice, but honestly, we missed the rest of the River. The stripped set did yield at least two spine-tingling moments: once when Sheff first took it into his head voice during a slowed version of opening song “Our Life Is Not A Movie Or Maybe,” the next when keying in on Will’s barbed lyricism on “Red.” (The stripped set also offered lots of free Vitamin Water, a promotion Will took note of — and took the piss out of — by mixing a vile tasting whiskey ‘n’ VW concoction. “A low-rent shandy,” as he called it.) Take the jump for more pics, including the last crop of iPhoners (cam got better after Sheff).