Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Jose Gonzalez @ Yoshi's, Oakland

I love it when shows are teacher friendly. Tonight, Argentinian-Swedish "ethereal acoustic singer songwriter" Jose Gonzalez performed at 8pm at Yoshi's jazz club in Oakland. For the uninitiated, Gonzalez performs indie songs with a classical guitar, singing in English (he is trilingual). His spirited performance included such highlights as "Lovestain," "Crosses," "Cycling Trivialities," and a cover of Massive Attack's "Teardrop," which closed his regular set. Jose's four song encore included "Heartbeats" (by fellow Swedes the Knife), my personal favorite "Killing for Love," and the awesome Kylie Minogue cover, "Hand on Your Heart." I was pining for his sublime cover of Joy Division's "Love Will Tear Us Apart," but to hear three other exquisite covers more than made up for the absence.

The intimate Yoshi's was perfect - normal jazz club etiquette applied, so people were astonishingly quiet throughout, unlike at Bimbo's or Cafe du Nord in San Francisco, where the bar noise threatens to drown out an acoustic performer. Almost as good as Jose Gonzalez was the food - Yoshi's doubles as a Japanese restaurant specializing in sushi.

The show was sold out, and seating was rough, but it was well worth the effort to hear amazing arpeggio chords accompanied by commanding vocals. If you desire an English-speaking Argentinian-Swedish solo-classical-acoustic singer-songwriter in your life, Jose Gonzalez is your man.

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