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Saturday, May 21, 2022

Life + Arts

Band’s performance was one for The Books

Paul de Jong (left) and Nick Zammuto (right) form the collage music duo The Books. They played at Fitzgerald’s on Thursday night. | Tomlab

Most of Houston’s bearded, Wayfarer-wearing, American Spirit-smoking crowd gathered to see The Books perform at Fitzgerald’s this weekend.

For those who aren’t familiar with the duo, guitarist Nick Zammuto and cellist Paul de Jong use samples of home videos and other recordings that have been picked up in thrift stores and add folk cello, viola and guitar melodies on top of the recordings.

The Books attracts an incredibly niche audience — it was only comprised of about 150 people, all of whom were almost completely silent during the performance.

The live performance was entirely unique. Behind the musicians was a screen that played their music videos, which have a strong emphasis on opening the mind, exploring imagination and relaxation.

Most of the people in the crowd focused more on watching the videos, laughing and whispering quietly to each other while the band played on the stage.

The audience was particularly pleased with their performance of the “Smells Like Content,” off the Lost and Safe album and “Take Time” off The Lemon of Pink which incorporates both the cello and the acoustic guitar on top of tribal beats.

It isn’t to be debated; The Books puts on a show that is unlike that of any other band. There has yet to be another group of musicians that has mastered the art of making music out of obscurity.

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