Illustration (c) Johnnie Cluney

You ever meet two people you’re crazy about? In a Platonic way now. Let’s keep it clean. I recently met with two songwriters on Manhattan Ave. and started asking them questions. Deep dark questions for Laura & Greg.

Well not really. They were the awkward questions of a fan, and I had to step up my game to present them right.

Also, they were Rotoscoping on a video Greg made, which put them in Linklater territory, and we had a hardcore punk past (and present) we both shared and loved.

Forever For Sure, their latest compilation, is mostly acoustic, with Laura’s Appalachia harmonies ready at hand. But they tell me their next album is running a little more wild, that the sound of Forever is just what was suited for those times.

I wish I had caught them at one of their house shows. Here is a shot of one in NYC:

Photo (c) George Underwood

Laura loves doing a live show hosted in a home, because it avoids the downside of a bar gig, where half the audience is there just to see somebody’s buddy’s band. A regular house party with kindred spirits is a great experience no matter what. Sure, you might see a few yet-unsung bands, but that could be the place to find your new favorite too.

Greg mentions that home shows also benefit from being unscripted. He cites Amy Winehouse as someone who understood the raw power of spontaneous performance, of soul shouting out in a West Louisiana shack just somewhere off the road. He recommended a recent documentary about her that explains how she preferred “real” instruments on her recordings, since engineered sounds can be over-engineered, sacrificing a song’s edge and message on a chase down a rabbit hole of precision.

Laura & Greg (c) Alice Glenn

Both Laura and Greg are wary of a different form of perfectionism, becoming just storytellers with catchy phrasing. No one wants to have to repeat certain lines over and over just to make them stick inside someone’s head.

Laura & Greg play a host of shows each month, many in the lively GP/ East Williamsburg quadrant. This Tuesday (9/22), though, they perform in what my South Flatbush Italian grandma calls “The Big City,” over the bridge, as part of a four-band slate that starts at 7 at Elvis Guesthouse.

Laura & Greg performed live at the Greenpointers Summer Market
Laura & Greg performed live at the Greenpointers Summer Market

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