"I don't go to singer-songwriter shows anymore because they're boring," Seattle alt-folkie Damien Jurado recently told Paste magazine. "I don't care if you're Conor Oberst or Nick Drake. Boring. Who wants to stand there? Not me." While I respect Jurado's opinion, he's dead wrong, at least when it comes to watching one of his performances. For as relatively quiet and modest-sounding as his mostly acoustic-based compositions can be, and as unlikely as he's liable to engage the audience with smiling banter, the burly singer is a truly powerful presence onstage -- eyes closed, mouth barely open to release his sober tenor, completely immersed in the vivid details that make up his riveting tales of heartsickness, jealousy, desolation, hope, disappointment, and grace under the heaviest of pressures. Already in possession of a brilliant back catalogue of work, Jurado's latest full-length, On My Way to Absence, is as affecting an album as you're likely to hear all year. With his knack for making that material even more poignant when delivered live, this show will be anything but boring. Don't miss it.
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