As the sun set on Lake Mendota, Brooklyn’s Inlets played a cozy show at the Gates of Heaven Synagogue in Madison, Wisconsin on April 29, 2010. The tiny venue, featuring not much more than an altar and a lofted area, created a complete immersion of sound for the crowd and decimated the barrier between listener and performer.
Inlets’s recent release, Inter Arbiter, features rolling guitars, tapped percussion, and orchestral touches. It’s as if the first two-and-a-half minutes of Radiohead’s “Paranoid Android” got stretched out and developed into its own album (and that’s a good thing). Live, songs like single “Bright Orange Air” were a little bit darker and heavier than their recorded counterparts, but it worked and made for a unique experience.
Opening the show was Wisconsin one-man show Yellow Ostrich. The charmingly awkward Alex Schaaf used a guitar, tom, and loop pedal to create lush layers of sound and choir-like vocals appropriate for the synagogue setting. In addition to his own material, he also did a lovely cover of “Androgynous”, prefacing the song by saying that “it’s by The Replacements – they’re a band.” Truth.