I had not done my homework, and came into the set totally unprepared for the onslaught I experienced. Barnett, from Melbourne, Australia, is an absolute joy to watch perform, playing her left-handed guitar (labeled “when i was an alien”) without a pick. She wore her guitar with the strap hung around her neck like a necklace, allowing the guitar more freedom to move about.
I’ve been listening to Barnett’s recorded music for the last 12 hours, and the disparity heard between the live performance and the studio recordings is large. That’s not to say that either is bad or incorrect. On the contrary, they both stand out in their own ways. The recorded works would best be described as “singer/songwriter.” Not necessarily understated, but not rocking either. Liz Phair-style sparseness, with jangly guitar and garage-style drums allows Barnett’s doubled-up voice on the recordings to shine through.
Up to that point, the extent of her recorded music was a double EP. Her full-length debut, Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit, came out March 23. I just downloaded it, and I’m diving in. And thank you to Mr. Defective Yeti, Matthew Baldwin, for reminding me that I’m not an airline pilot or heart surgeon.