Your browser (Internet Explorer 6) is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites. Learn how to update your browser.

Show preview: Julia Massey and the Five Finger Discount at the Barboza on Saturday


Julia Massey and the Five Finger Discount have found a way to make upbeat, almost childlike music at times, without coming across as twee. It is not an easy feat to pull off, but when it works the reward is obvious. My hat is off to them for that.

Massey sings and plays keys in front of an excellent rhythm section that is made up of bassist Geoff Gibbs and drummer Dominic Cortese (Massey’s brother-in-law and also the drummer of quite-good rock duo The Jesus Rehab with his brother Jared). Her voice is hard to categorize but fits instantly in with instrumentation underneath it. The song I’m most hung up on is “Top 100,” the first song from the new Five Letters from Far Awaywhich came out in early January locally and is getting a national release March 19. “Top 100″ is about two and a half minutes of irrational exuberance put to music and the video somehow works double-time as PSA for the American Dental Association. The songs from Five Letters were inspired by letters Massey received from her father after he died when she was a teenager. It’s that maturity in the lyrics that gives the music a necessary edge. With song titles like “Song of the Dying” and “Who Silently Suffers?” that are still accessible and hopeful, it makes for a unique and inviting sound from one of the better, underrated bands in the Northwest.

{Julia Massey and the Five Finger Discount play at the Barboza on Saturday, March 9 with Red Jacket Mine and The Great Um, 21+, 7pm doors, $8 tickets here.}

{Photo by Laura Ashbrook Compton.}


Chris Burlingame is the editor of Another Rainy Saturday.