Live Music Friday – Alex Dezen of The Damnwells, Live at Hotel Cafe

Over the years, I’ve amassed quite a large collection of live shows of my favourite artists… thank god for all those tapers out there who share their wealth with those of us who can’t make it to the show! When I was living in South Africa, those tapers pretty much managed to get through the many winters when large acts simply wouldn’t visit our shores.
So I thought it was time that I shared the wealth. And that leads us to this, the inaugeral “Live Music Friday“. When time allows, Friday posts here will become a regular live music post. Now, I’m not going to lie… the likes of Ryan Adams, Howie Day and Bob Schneider will probably be popping up more than once in this series of posts. But for today, I thought we’d start with…

Alex & Angela Dezen at the Hotel Cafe, 2007

Alex and Angela Dezen
Alex Dezen of The Damnwells & Angela Dezen.

It’s official. Following Damnwells posts here and here, I’m obsessed. And I’m ok with that. The music of The Damnwells really is that rare breed, where I find that — even years after initially hearing them — my love of their music hasn’t waned in the slightest. And that’s a rare form of staying power.
There are quite a few live recordings of Alex and The Damnwells around, and some with better sound quality than this one. But this is possibly my favourite, simply because of the dynamic that Alex Dezen shares with his wife, Angela… who is not only an actress, but an amazing singer. Side note – how jealous can one guy make me? There is a real tenderness in these songs that simply hits you like a steam-train.

I stumbled across a recent video that they posted on Youtube, of them performing the song, “Like It Is”, in front of a glowing Christmas tree, where that exact tenderness is so immediately apparent…


Alex and Angela Dezen performing “Like It Is” live.

From the moment Alex opens his voice in that video, my heart absolutely breaks. And when Angela comes in? Man… I know this is an awful thing for a music blogger to write, but I simply don’t have words for it. It awakens a yearning in me that I never knew existed.

And that’s how it is with this live show. Alex Dezen, with Angela, creates beauty. If nothing else, make sure you listen to their version of “Bastard of Midnight“. If it doesn’t stop you in your tracks, then I’m not sure we have much more to talk about.

Anyway… here’s the set-list. I’ve included individual files below, and then a handy .zip of the entire show below that.

Alex and Angela Dezen Live at the Hotel Cafe, 14 October 2007

1. Dandelion
2. Chatter 1
3. Bastard of Midnight
4. Kung Fu Grip Kiss
5. Chatter 2
6. Jesus Could Be Right
7. Chatter 3
8. Chatter 4
9. Say
10. Chatter 5
11. Closer Than We Are
12. WWXII
13. Chatter 6
14. Like It Is
15. Chatter 7
16. Golden Days

Alex Dezen Live at Hotel Cafe 14/10/07 .zip file

And now for the links… The Damnwells website can be found here, their Myspace here — and I would suggest checking out Alex’s blog there — and Angela has a website here. Linkage galore!

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10 Comments

  1. Elle
    April 25, 2008
    Reply

    Thanks so much for posting this… I’m in absolute love with this guys voice!!!

  2. April 26, 2008
    Reply

    I don’t know why I didn’t come across this post until it was referenced in this week’s live music friday.

    yeah, I know the quality of the show isn’t too great, I actually taped the show as a video w/ my Digital Camera (just a cheapish kodak) and then ripped the sound from the video (except for “The Same Way” where my battery died and b/c my camera likes to randomly shut off when you set the time, I didn’t get it back up before the song started so I used the even cheaper MP3 player recorder I was using) I just figured anything was WAY better than nothing, and we’ve all been so eager for new songs.

    I’m actually seeing the damnwells today (in about 4 hours) and have a camcorder with me. Unfortunately it’s not a DVD camcorder so it may take me some time to get it on my computer, but when I do, if the sound is decent I’ll probably rip and post that show too…

  3. Burgo
    April 27, 2008
    Reply

    Hi Gilly,
    I didn’t realise that you were the actual taper of this show… that’s great! I’ve just come across your comment now, so by now you would have seen the Damnwells already… I hope that it was a great night, and I know that a huge amount of people – myself included, obviously – would appreciate you posting it :)
    Hope you let us know how it went!

  4. Rachel
    April 27, 2008
    Reply

    Matt :)

    So I just discovered your blog only a couple weeks ago…I’d been searching for info on the release date for The DW’s Golden Days DVD. (I’ve been dying to see it!) I, too, am a huge fan of those guys (and Angela)…tops for me. So I was absolutely thrilled and delighted to to find someone giving them props. And the same goes for every other artist you’re showing love to (especially Mr. Ryan Adams…[[sigh]])

    Your blog brings me great happiness Matt :) Everything about it.

    So thank you.

    Peace & best

  5. Burgo
    April 27, 2008
    Reply

    Wow Rachel…

    Thank you. That comment is pretty much what keeps me writing this blog. I really appreciate it, and your kind words really mean a lot to me.

    I hope that you stick around for a while :)

  6. Buddy
    July 6, 2008
    Reply

    Thanks so much for this post… I’m absolutely in love with Alex Dezen’s voice, and especially after hearing a few of his tracks in the Chaos Theory movie, I really wanted to expand on my collection!

    Didn’t realise that Angela Dezen was such a cutie too!

  7. Burgo
    July 18, 2008
    Reply

    Ed’s note:
    If you’ve liked this post, then you might want to check out some of my other Alex Dezen posts.

  8. Jansen
    October 16, 2008
    Reply

    very nice voice, THANK you very much for posing the songs

  9. Dan
    May 9, 2009
    Reply

    Hey, just came across this a few days ago, very excited to hear it as I’m totally smitten by the new album. Yikes, the files are no longer available since this posting is so old! Any chances of you reposting it sometime in the not-so-distant future? Otherwise, with no idea of when Alex/Damnwells are coming back to NYC, I’m strung out….

    Thanks!

    -Dan

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