I’ve missed stellastarr*. Last time I saw them perform was about two years ago when they opened for Editors. They finished their third CD, Civilized, which they released in July – and what I have heard from it this is a magnificent CD. stellastarr*’s back now and just completed a headlining tour the other night at Chop Suey in Seattle. Live the new material snaps in place with their previous work as a perfect balance to their debut CD and second CD. Where Harmonies for the Haunted was a softer work, this one picks up the pace again. The band’s managed to carve an immediately recognizable sound and I was so happy to see them perform – and perform so well. I have never been disappointed by their shows – each band member is such a great musician on his/her own and when they combine it’s magic. I am struck by how the band hasn’t gone in for silly musical trends and I feel like they’re genuine as they are. Bassist Amanda Tannen is one of the most wonderful bassists I have ever heard. I heard stellastarr*’s songs before I saw the band so don’t accuse me here of picking favorites just because she’s beautiful. Listen to their songs and watch her live – they really aren’t better than this. And the guys? Don’t accuse of me picking favorites again because they’re beautiful. They’re of a depth of sound you come across rarely. When singer/ guitarist Shawn Christensen collapses on the stage to deliver On My Own it really is moving. When drummer Arthur Kremer rips up the rhythms it’s a sweet thing. When guitarist Michael Jurin plays in a singular and is one with the guitar you’re in for it. For me it’s apt that one of their new songs is called Freak Out. The older songs Jenny, My Coco, In the Walls, No Weather, Sweet Troubled Soul and Moongirl are all still equally fresh. The band’s a pleasure to photograph as well.