New York City's intimate Cake Shop isn't normally a venue for stand-up comedy, but last night's first-ever set from folksy duo Human Highway -- a.k.a., ex-Unicorns and current Islands bandleader Nick Thorburn and singer-songwriter Jim Guthrie -- could have been easily mistaken for a regular laugh-in. Thorburn and Guthrie's quote-worthy stage banter ("Our music is known to break cell phones" and "We should just quit this band and rap for a living," to cite a few) could have held an audience on its own, were it not for the pair's captivatingly harmony-drenched folk-rock.
Drawing on songs from their breezy debut, Moody Motorcycle, as well as Guthrie's 2003 solo effort, Now More Than Ever, Human Highway provided a perfect autumnal soundtrack with help from their crack backing band, the aptly titled Moody Motorcycles. The melodic "All Day" and the '50s slow-dance-tinged "Sleep Talking" floated on five-part harmonies and easy electric guitar, while the more rock-oriented "The Sound" and "What World" displayed an amiably ramshackle cohesion. The good-natured humor might have been in ample supply, but Human Highway's tenderly rocking performance was no laughing matter -- even though it brought plenty of smiles from fans in attendance.
Check out pictures from last night on page 2.