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The Long Winters & Sean Nelson @ The Bootleg

December 8, 2013
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For at least a decade, I have been a cultish fan of Seattle indie-rock band The Long Winters as well as the now-defunct Harvey Danger and anything generated by it’s singer Sean Nelson. The composite of these two groups and the surrounding players and projects has gifted me a catalog of significant rock songs tinged with folk and nuanced pop. At the helm of The Long Winters is John Roderick and he, as well as Sean Nelson, are involuntarily defined as literary song-writers – highbrow turners-of-phrase who want to be listened to carefully but not too closely. From my worn-out vantage point, these musicians are constantly deliberating with themselves the notion of achieving what they (kindof?) wanted and then still not necessarily being happy with it. Both Roderick and Nelson are paying their dues writing remarkable songs – some lamenting romantic efforts and some sounding like intelligent shrugs. Roderick concedes himself as a loner – the everyman not worthy of glossy doe-eyes from an audience but like Nelson, he has written albums that people want to move to and words that people want to live by. Just when my annual growing concern surfaced that I may never see them live again, I got lucky. Both Sean Nelson and The Long Winters performed at the Bootleg Theater on December 4th.  This night of quick-witted reinforcement and earnest showmanship was gratifying enough to feed what is my otherwise insatiable appetite for (apparently) jet city indie-rock-pop philosophers slash storytellers. My taste may seem quite specific but this non-genre certainly garners its own buzz.  And whether they like it or not, these musicians have upped my standards for subjects of admiration (or at least refined them) so getting to finally photograph them after so many years of respect was a true privilege.
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THE LONG WINTERS

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