Conspiracy of Beards / Hawk and a Hacksaw
Hemlock Tavern
May 29, 2005

Review by Jake Thomas

I’m not afraid to admit that I mostly went to this show just because the former drummer of Neutral Milk Hotel, Jeremy Barnes, was playing – luckily it was good despite (or because of) that. His group, Hawk and a Hacksaw, was a two piece with him playing drums and accordion at the same time and a lady playing the violin. They sounded like what you might get if the Dirty Three decided to play french circus music and score a Jeunet film…very eclectic and fun, especially watching barnes multitask and pull off being a badass at both instruments at once. How often do you see a man with a drum stick taped to his leg to hit a cowbell and a pedal specially set up to bang a gong?

The headliners on the evening was Conspiracy of Beards. They were great as usual, very enthusiastically singing their Leonard Cohen acapella covers much to everyone’s delight. They sang a really interesting version of “Suzanne” that I probably wouldn’t have even recognized had they not said they were singing it before they started. Their set was short, sweet, and to the point, and seemingly enjoyed by all.