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items tagged with Daytrotter

Happy Hooking: Shilpa Ray & Her Happy Hookers, January 16 at RIBCO
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2010-01-06 11:28:14
Shilpa Ray & Her Happy Hookers. Photo by Chris Becker.

Shilpa Ray has a voice with the unpolished force of PJ Harvey and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' Karen O on their early recordings, and she sometimes unleashes an uninhibited bluesy growl. Yet she's also capable of reining in her vocals to suit the song, as when she sounds (intentionally) a little sloppy/slurry/drunk on "Beating St. Louis" but also manages to nail a passage of higher notes.

She has a testimonial from the king of dramatic singing, Nick Cave: "She has a great voice; she writes great songs, great lyrics."

And Shilpa Ray - who will be playing with her backing band the Happy Hookers on January 16 at RIBCO - also plays a portable harmonium, a reed organ she picked up while studying northern-Indian classical singing from ages six through 17. (The instrument sounds a lot like an accordion.)


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Escaping the Trap: The Mieka Canon, December 15 at Huckleberry’s
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2009-12-11 19:15:46

Mieka Pauley. Photo by Josh Rothstein.

Listening to Mieka Pauley play and sing "All the Same Mistakes" in her Daytrotter.com session released earlier this year, it's hard to imagine somebody who at one point loathed her music.

Using just her voice and an acoustic guitar, she is defiant and forceful yet also surprisingly supple, muscular but precise. The version that appears on her 2008 album Elijah Drop Your Gun is prettier and more delicate and takes advantage of her full band, but the Daytrotter version smolders, builds, and ignites.

Yet in early 2007, Pauley said that she felt ensnared by that voice-and-guitar combo. She had what she called "a very sad epiphany" while looking in a bathroom mirror: "What am I doing?"


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Feel the Terror: Andrew W.K., December 5 at RIBCO
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2009-12-01 20:17:02

Andrew W.K.I have no certainty that the person whom I interviewed late last month is the real Andrew W.K., or the original Andrew W.K., or even that Andrew W.K. as a human being (as opposed to an entertainment entity) exists.

But the guy who called me introduced himself as Andrew W.K. and talked a good game, and he'll presumably be the man performing as Andrew W.K. at a benefit show Saturday at RIBCO. So we'll go with it.

"When someone says you're not a real person, or you don't exist, or that your life is a lie, that's a very strange feeling," he said.

If this sounds a little odd, you've likely not encountered Andrew W.K. I first saw the man on Saturday Night Live in 2002, and the spectacle was so bizarre that it had to be a joke -- some mix of Andy Kaufman's dry meta-comedy and Spinal Tap's sharp musical satire. I was fascinated and bought his record I Get Wet. My wife considered divorcing me.


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A Familiarly Distinctive Voice: Harper Simon, November 23 at Huckleberry’s
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2009-11-19 15:36:44

Harper SimonRolling Stone began its positive four-sentence review this way: "At 37, Harper Simon apparently doesn't mind taking after his pops, Paul, who used to showcase the young, guitar-playing Harper when he was touring on Graceland."

On the one hand, that's mean. Living up to a legacy is tough enough -- just ask anybody with an older sibling -- but it's especially hard when that legacy belongs to a revered pop icon. And can Harper help that he bears a facial resemblance to his father, or that his singing voice and phrasing sound awfully familiar? Of course not.

On the other hand, he's asking for it. Paul Simon is credited as a co-writer on three tracks on Harper Simon, plays guitar on another, and "Wishes & Stars" has the gorgeous light harmonies his father specializes in. The jokey "Tennessee" puts the elder's trademark wit in a country context.

Yet it would be a mistake to pigeonhole Harper Simon -- performing a Daytrotter.com show on Monday at Huckleberry's -- based on his genes. His debut, released last month, is a quietly adventurous and accomplished work, spanning genres and generations. Employing senior-citizen Nashville session players with intimidating credits (Dylan, Cash, Presley, McCartney, and many more) alongside his contemporaries, Simon has made an album specific to its primary singer, all over the place and yet surprisingly cohesive. It's tight and concise but feels relaxed, natural, and easy.


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An Exchange: Sondre Lerche, November 11 at Huckleberry’s
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2009-11-05 14:47:22

Sondre LercheThe singer/songwriter Sondre Lerche speaks of his audience like a pool of friends and acquaintances -- a blob that's ever-changing.

With each album, he said, "you're gaining someone, and you're losing someone. ... You're going to be reunited with someone you met in the past, and somebody else is going to take some time off and not be a part of what you do, and then also someone brand-new is going to enter the field and be excited about what you do. ... I like that idea."

That speaks to a healthy attitude toward the consequences of his artistic exploration, as well as the fickle taste of the public, but it also reflects the intimate nature of his adventurous, manicured, instrumentally omnivorous pop music, which seems to foster a relationship between artist and audience.

Lerche should be right at home at his Daytrotter.com show on Wednesday at Huckleberry's, with the small venue offering him plenty of opportunity for that give-and-take.


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