Live (almost): She and Him (and me)

Posted in Acoustic Guitar, Folk, Indie, Pop, Singer-Songwiter by dc3 on July 8, 2010

One thing needs to be clear. Any judgments about Zooey Deschanel’s musical talent will probably be clouded by her irresistible good looks. The second thing that needs to be clear is that her collaboration with M. Ward is pretty good.

It could be Zooey’s voice and M. Ward’s good musicianship, but deep down, every guy knows that it’s because she’s just downright beautiful. Sentimental-bullshit-inducing beautiful. Naturally, I had to see for myself. Tonight, the 9:30 club was filled with many she and him’s but scarcely any just she’s or just him’s. It was hard to tell whether the girlfriends had dragged the boyfriends here or, equally likely, the boyfriends had taken their girlfriends.

The Chapin Sisters

The opener Chapin Sisters was a duo that was real folksy and bluegrassy (?). They set the mood for She and Him, but unfortunately didn’t do much else. The most important part of the singer-songwriter combination seemed lacking: the songwriting. In fact, their best performances were covers, one of Doc Watson’s “Your Long Journey” and Britney Spears’s “Toxic”.  Zooey, however, saved the day with an early guest appearance with the sisters.

She and Him

Zooey stole the show. How can she not? Her name is fucking Zooey for God’s sakes. With two o’s and a y! The Zooey named after Salinger’s book. The Zooey that you also fell in love with in 500 days of Summer and still secretly love even though she was a total bitch. It’s impossible not to love her. Even her music can’t escape her charm. The light-hearted melodies and pleasant vocals never leave Zooey even when she’s singing about loss and regret. It’s overly sweet and innocent, but like a girl, that’s sometimes what you want.

Me and You // Volume II

In the Sun // Volume II

Change is Hard // Volume I

Sentimental Heart // Volume I

She and Him have all the pop and folk sensibilities that make them irresistibly catchy, but it was when the band stepped off the stage, leaving only M. Ward’s acoustic and Zooey’s voice, that the two were at their best. It should always just be she and him and no one else. My favorite was yet another cover, this time of Joni Mitchell’s “You Turn Me On, I’m a Radio.”

M. Ward

It’s easy to get lost looking at Zooey Deschanel and miss her equally talented partner M. Ward. His occasional vocals were greeted with loud cheers and everyone seemed to recognize that though he was in the background, he was very much the more mature one of the duo.

Magic Trick // Post-War

Rave On // Post-War


“Change Is Hard”
“I Thought I Saw Your Face Today”
“I Was Made For You”
“Black Hole”
“Lingering Still”
“Me and You”
“Take It Back”
“Ridin’ in My Car” (NRBQ cover)
“Over It Over Again”

Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward Acoustic:
“You Really Got a Hold on Me”
“Brand New Shoes”
“Turn Me On, I’m a Radio” (Joni Mitchell cover)
“Wouldn’t It Be Nice” (The Beach Boys cover, debut)

Resume Full Band:
“Sentimental Heart”
“Magic Trick” (M. Ward cover)
“Gonna Get Along Without You Now” (Skeeter Davis cover)
“In the Sun”
“Don’t Look Back”
“This is Not a Test”
“Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?”

“Fools Rush In” (Frank Sinatra cover)
“Rave On” (Buddy Holly cover)
“Sweet Darlin'”


One Response

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  1. A Plea for Duets « malleus&incus said, on August 28, 2010 at 2:47 am

    […] course this doesn’t include the few artists (like She and Him or Arcade Fire) that have both male and female vocalists, but that is six whole collaborations. […]

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