Spring Fever Short Attention Span Theatre
• Glass Candy has been kind enough to post all of their ridiculously out-of-print tour CDs on their
website sorry, fan site. I immediately went for their 12” remix of “Life After Sundown,” which is guaranteed to turn any cubicle into the Paradise Garage circa 1983 (minus the disco ball & the mountains of blow, of course —those you gotta supply yourself). But I’m looking forward to investigating the rest someday soon… For more on Glass Candy (including their summer tour dates with Chromatics) visit their Myspace page.
• This week I seem to be rediscovering music on my hard drive that I’d mistakenly overlooked.
First up: Old Time Relijun, a free-wheeling quartet who —despite the seemingly “olde timey” trappings are more like a punk rawk jug band seriously tweaked on home-stilled moonshine and pure sweaty religious fervor. The vocalist —who claims to be a student of Tuvan throat singing and, given what twisted utterances I’ve heard emanating from his gullet, I’d say, “Sure, why the hell not?”— is one part Gordon Gano and three parts James White. (A little bit of neurosis, a hell of a lot of gutter-weary soul.)
• Lenya Tilber. I first got Lenya’s CD when going through submissions to help book a show waaaay back when. I quite liked what I heard, but she didn’t get booked (for unrelated, completely banal reasons). I kind of forgot about having these tracks until just the other day, when I scrolled past “The Honest Voluptuary” in iTunes. But the bright-eyed clarity of her voice stopped me in my tracks and forced me to listen. Her voice is limited by a certain, slightly deceptive wide-eyed innocence (very ingénue) but the music, thankfully, shades in just the right notes of dread and sorrow.
Last I knew Lenya was attending Mills College. A quick web search yielded a sum total of …nothing. If anyone knows anything more about her or what she’s up to, drop me a note.
• And lastly but certainly not least, we have Montreal’s Shanghai Triad. A brand-new trio (but a few months old), they already have a visual polish and charm that eludes many a more established outfit. The group currently plays a repertoire of Chinese folk, jazz and blues from the 1930s and ‘40s, but promise originals soon. Listening to the impossibly elegant, mournful “Plum Blossom” (a traditional melody) I was transported back to the exquisite yearning of Wong Kar Wai’s “In the Mood for Love.” The warm tones of erhu (a two-stringed Chinese violin), guitar and accordion give an earthy backdrop for the lush, otherworldly vocals of Yi-Hsiuan (Shien) Lee.
Shien Lee and Lucas Lanthier’s other group, the Deadfly Ensemble, are currently on tour. Tour dates as follows:
• May 6: Albion NY, NY 9:00P
• May 7: Club Hell, Providence, RI 6:00P [with Holy Cow]
• May 9: Galapagos Art Space, Brooklyn, NY 6:00P
• May 10: The Rotunda, Philadelphia, PA 8:00P
• May 13: The Playhouse, Montreal 8:00P
SHANGHAI TRIAD PORTRAIT BY VALERIE SANGIN.