First/Last-Sharon Van Etten

December 17, 2012

“The shimmering sound of Sharon Van Etten’s Jagjaguwar debut album, Tramp, both defies and illuminates the unsteadiness of a life in flux. Throughout the 14 months of scattered recording sessions, Van Etten was without a home — crashing with friends and storing her possessions between varied locations. The only constant in Van Etten’s life during this time was spent in the garage studio of The National’s Aaron Dessner.”

As I prep my annual ‘year in review posts’, I keep going back to Sharon’s career defining 2012. Her latest album,”Tramp“, is ending up on seemingly everyone’s top ten list and her two stops in Pittsburgh were basically the same set but might as well have been night and day in terms of musical experiences for me. Her first gig at the lecture hall in April was a stunning example of what music can do. I was hypnotized by the set as opposed to her later gig outdoors in June where, believe me, the band was spot on, it’s just that whole scene took some intimacy away from her music and it just reinforced the power of the first show. You can find Sharon on her Website, Facebook, Twitter, Bandcamp and SoundCloud. She was way cool enough to take the time right before she left for Europe to open up for Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds on a string of dates to participate in this edition of First/Last.

  • The first album you ever bought?
  • “Elastica”.
  • Your last album bought?
  • Angel Olsen.
  • Favorite album of all time?
  • Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, “The Boatman’s Call”.
  • Least favorite/most disappointing album?
  • Spice Girls.
  • First concert attended?
  • The Kinks & Aimee Mann.
  • Last concert?
  • Ed Askew.
  • Favorite concert ever?
  • Lower Dens at Mercury Lounge.
  • Least favorite concert?
  • Roger McGuinn.
  • Any thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
  • Beautiful city. Hard working people.

Thanks, Sharon. Looking forward to seeing you again in 2013. Hopefully, inside again this time.