Annuals and Jessica Lea Mayfield @ the Troubadour, 2/19/09
If recently you have had the misfortune of having your heart ripped out and stomped on the floor into little bitty pieces by someone you love, boy have I got an album for you. The young songwriter, Jessica Lea Mayfield and her band played at the Troubadour on Thursday, and man alive, does she ever feel your pain. In a dark purple dress, that matched the vibe of her music, Ms. Mayfield launched into her catalog of woe. False lovers, bad breakups, and the discombobulation one feels when emerging from a long relationship are all covered by Ms. Mayfield in all their gory details. This is an album to listen to when your desolate in your room, watching the rain pour down your window, smoking your fifteenth cigarette, and wondering what the fuck happened. You don't even have to know the lyrics. Ms. Mayfield's mumbling alto is perfect for moaning and holding your head. No enunciation necessary.
However, if your heart is currently whole and you're in a happy place in your life, Jessica Lea Mayfield is not for you. The crowd at the Troubadour on Thursday was clearly in the later state of mind and gave Ms. Mayfield a lukewarm reception. No matter what her band did, it was greeted with a lackluster response. To be fair, her band was fantastic. At one point the bassist threw himself on the ground frantically plucking at his stand up bass that seemed to be crushing him. The lead guitarist was equally masterful. Dressed sharply in a suit with a slightly confusing bandanna wrapped around his head, this young man let his guitar sing a mournful duet with Mayfield. It was as if his chords were the echoes of Ms. Mayfield's broken heart. It was lovely, but after an hour a bit too heavy for my taste.