Chemistry is about as precise a science as you can find, but in performances it can be the most elusive thing to achieve. I cannot think of a better example of recent genuine chemistry than Shearwater
teaming up with Sharon Van Etten
on The Onion A.V. Club's Undercover series last summer, to perform the Tom Petty
and Stevie Nicks
rocker Stop Draggin' My Heart Around
. The Undercover series is full of wonderful hits mixed with several more misses, but it's always worth keeping an eye out for when the right bands come along and pick out the right cover songs. Permanent marker stars aligned in the small round room on this particular occasion.
Shearwater opened for Sharon Van Etten on tour in early 2012, and I can recall SVE's excitement about how good she thought the new Shearwater record was (it was, and remains, astounding--although it's not like SVE was putting out mediocre material herself with Tramp
). I liked to think she was not just saying this because she was friends with the band…