Ed Hamell isn't much of a bandleader on record, or tunesmith either. Nor are his lyrics perfect—as a distant supporter turned flat-out fan, I still cringe at the forced rhymes of the uxorious "I'm Gonna Watch You Sleep." ("There's a door, you cannot latch it/Do you dream I find your Dad and chop him with a hatchet"? Not good.) These failings don't just vanish onstage, either. Visiting the Knitting Factory Old Office for two sold-out Hamell on Trial shows earlier this month—featuring just Hamell, live he's always solo—I lost track of several songs the first night, one of them the fan favorite "Hail," about Brandon Teena and Matthew... More >>>