Walking up stone carved stairs to a private, secluded house in one of the richest neighborhoods in Houston isn't a typical Saturday night for most people. But this past Saturday was an exception for the lucky few that experienced Houston's foray into Songs From A Room. The concept started in London with Robert Pattinson (yes, that Pattinson) in Passion Ate Dave's living room, thinking of a way to showcase local bands to music lovers that just want to sit and enjoy the music and not leave a venue barely able to hear. The success in London with Songs From A Room has quickly spread, and it made its way into this particular Houston living room on Saturday night.
Heather Pray, the organizer of the event, recruited local bands and musicians Jennifer Grassman, Liam Bonner (baritone), The Watermarks, Castle Lights and Two Star Symphony. It was no ordinary unplugged event. The bands varied from operatic and string quartet to electronic rock and indie Britpop. Jennifer Grassman exposed some deep and often times hurtful feelings, taking us into a page of her own diary while playing the piano and singing in a surprisingly upbeat tone. Liam Bonner's rich and versatile voice covered Italian, French and German, and he so kindly explained each song before hand. Opera never felt so intimate as he connected individually to the audience members. The Watermarks toned down their usual loud set for the evening but stayed true to their blend of guitars and organic drums. Castle Lights played soft but lyrically challenging Britpop. Two Star Symphony ended the evening off with some kickass quartet action inspired by Dr. Dre and a short fat man who wrote some nasty things about them.
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Besides the amazing music and the exclusive house, FreeBirds catered the event with informal burritos and cookies...on the formal living room table with the chandeliers hung low.
More video here.