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editor's note
Emily Haines and the Soft Skeleton
January 20, 2007 - The Crocodile - Seattle, WA
by Katie Sauro

Those who came to marvel—hell, even those who came to revel—were not disappointed Saturday night, as sultry songstress Emily Haines and her three-piece backing band took to the stage, putting on an intimately penetrating live set.

Haines, frontwoman and keyboardist for Metric, is touring on behalf of her debut solo album,
Knives Don’t Have Your Back, for which she ditched the moody synths and electro-pop for moody piano and a classical string section. Those familiar with the new album already know how brilliant it is, but I can say without qualms that Haines’ emotionally visceral set transcended it.

Flanked by a three-paneled presentation of Guy Maddin films on the left and a taped-up photo of Bob Dylan on the right, Haines’ familiar raspy purr and lulling piano entranced the crowd, nearly soothing them into a tranquilized state of upright slumber. Don’t worry, that’s a good thing.

The band played
Knives in its entirety, barely pausing to address the awestruck crowd. The only departures from the album came from the brief Dylan-inspired “House of the Rising Sun” interlude toward the end of her gorgeous “Reading in Bed,” and her one-song encore, a cover of Neil Young’s “Expecting to Fly.” Other highlights included “The Maid Needs a Maid,” a play on Young’s “A Man Needs a Maid,” and the charmingly delicate “Winning.”

Haines has just finished her solo tour and is now touring throughout the UK with Metric, opening up for Bloc Party.

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