SXSW Preview: Ezra Furman

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For some reason I’ve spent the last five years overlooking Ezra Furman.

Don’t really know why – he’s a perfectly solid singer/songwriter, with a number of well-received records both with his band the Harpoons & as a solo artist, on recognized labels such as Minty Fresh, Red Parlor and now Bar None.

Perhaps it is the Midwestern vibe of his brand of rock – slightly loose, but urgently played, with an emphasis on witty, introspective lyrics – that went over the head of this flashy-production-bedazzled West Coaster on first listens.

Nonetheless, his latest album,Day of the Dog, somehow finally touched the Hoosier part of my brain and quickly because a sleeper favorite of 2013.

And with further examination of his catalog, I now stand as a dedicated fan.

Furman’s songwriting falls somewhere between Bob Dylan confident wordplay and Gordon Gano of the Violent Femme’s charming confessionals, with touches of the coastal musicality of Jonathan Richman and Destroyer’s Dan Bejar.

Thus SXSW seems the perfect place for him to woo the jaded uninitiated and thrill the knowing believers alike.

(Warning: extremely nerdy dancing!)