28 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY JUNE 27-JULY 3, 2024 www.montereycountynow.com MUSIC Not every popular musician has a taste for Serbian poetry. Then again, Sam Beam, aka Iron & Wine—he took the name from a sign at a general store he passed on the road— is anything but ordinary. Unlike many musicians, he took a break from composing for two years during Covid. “The songwriting muse doesn’t have a hell of a lot to do with chaos,” Beam observes during a phone call from Salt Lake City, where he’s on the road promoting Light Verse, his wryly titled new album. “I didn’t want to write about Covid or Trump or cultural fallout. Whenever I got a quiet moment, I ended up doing visual art, which is more about turning your mind off. I’m pretty good at hermiting.” But he was rejuvenated when he went on tour with Andrew Bird and performed some solo acoustic concerts. Light Verse, the first Iron & Wine album in seven years, is all original work—the only exception, “Anyone’s Game,’’ an adaptation of a piece by Serbian poet Vasko Popov. Standout tracks include a killer duet with Fiona Apple on the bittersweet ballad, “All In Good Time,” in which their voices blend in seamless counterpoint to lyrics recalling John Prine: “All in good time, our plans went to shit/I told my future by reading your lips/You wore your ring until it didn’t fit/All in good time.” Beam counts literary influences as well as musical role models. “Growing up in South Carolina, I loved Flannery O’Connor, and in college I read short story writers like Raymond Carver and poets like Norman Dubie and Mary Oliver,” he says. “Lyric-wise, I’m either looking for a story to get lost in or start with a scrawl and see where it goes.” Light verse, indeed. With typical inventiveness, Iron & Wine will be accompanied in performance by Manual Cinema, an experimental Chicago troupe projecting live overhead shadow puppetry. As if all that isn’t enough, the opening act, Amythyst Kiah is a rising self-styled “Southern Gothic” musician whose new single— her version of Leadbelly’s classic, “In the Pines”—is starkly effective. “I watched Nirvana’s MTV Unplugged when I was 8 or 9 years old,’’ Kiah says. (Kurt Cobain performed the song.) “It wouldn’t be until years later, studying roots music in college, that I listened to Leadbelly’s version and everything came together.’’ Iron & Wine performs at 7:30pm. Thursday, June 27 at Golden State Theatre, 417 Alvarado St., Monterey. $40- $80.649-1070, goldenstatetheatre.com. KIM BLACK Wine and Rhyme Innovative artist Sam Beam, known by the stage name Iron & Wine, breaks the mold once again. By Paul Wilner For his most recent album, Sam Beam took cues from visual arts, Serbian poetry and other sources when writing his songs. 720 BROADWAY AVE. SEASIDE Call 831-899-1762 to order DINE IN / TAKEOUT / DELIVERY Great Dough Great Pizza is Thin crust & Sourdough pizzas Salads & Calzones • Pasta • Subs Draft beer on tap • Wine • Dessert Serving handmade pizzas with fresh, quality ingredients At The Oven, we believe FRESH. LOCAL. TASTY. Fisherman’s Wharf FRESHEST SEAFOOD with PANORAMIC VIEWS Open Daily at 11:30am • At the end of Fisherman’s Wharf #1 www.rockfishmonterey.com • 831.324.4375 Can You Solve the MYSterY Before tiMe runS out? Follow the rabbit. Rob the bank. Travel through time to save the world....and many more. A 60 minute adventure, 9 rooms to choose from each with a different theme. Great for birthdays or special events. Kid friendly. All locations surrounded by great local restaurants. 4 MONTEREY LOCATIONS 765 Wave St, Ste A2 • 599 Lighthouse Ave • 700 Cannery Row Ste DD and Oscar’s Playground 685 Cannery Row (Third Floor) 831.241.6616 BOOk TODAy! Escaperoom831.com oscar’s Playground Voted Monterey County’s Best new Business ’23