The Roxy, Los Angeles
When a band receives the imprimatur of the KCRW/Morning Becomes Eclectic High Command, (1) they're most likely shortly thereafter to be listed on the infamous Stuff White People Like and (2) generally they're safe for adults to listen to at any time of the day, not just in the morning. Oh it also typically means that taste makers from beyond America's shores have offered some sort of written guarantee of the authenticity of the product at hand.
Having mentioned then, that I am a dark, disparaging know-somethings, who can rarely enjoy anything, golly I like the sound of Gothenburg, Sweden's, Little Dragon. And I don't always dig those the most - those arriving with their stellar reputations, unremitting critical acclaim and rich, as insiders know, rich indie pedigree. Or as the young folks around me were asking, "Isn't she the singer in Peter, Bjorn and John." Erm, well... No not exactly.
Little Dragon come to life at night obviously, they're nocturnal, in the morning, they slumber in the morning, they sound like they sleep in, in the morning. On stage at the Roxy, well, I don't want to say sensual, sensuous, anything about hips, or swaying or charisma or mention fluid or say what would they do without her or that I have never seen a tambourine that looked like that, nor moved like that, before. It looked like a shiny flaming paddle. Nor do I want to say that the crowd swooned at Yukimi Nagano's (not in PB+J ever) every movement.
Little Dragon at times exhibited a slightly reticent, mild metallic funk, redolent of say, Prince's absolutely sparest, modest moments, and displayed the mellowest soul of Sade's production team warming up the studio machinery while boiling the kettle for a cup of tea and speaking ever so softly over in the corner because to come out into the light would be too harsh for such a conversation. Little Dragon's late night luster is preferably shared with two or three, not a sold out Roxy crowd. It's intimately intimating... Mostly most every moment of Little Dragon made me ponder how sad it is to be the possessor of the hips of a middle aged man. But...
Does anyone understand the multilevel keyboards as a spectacle shoved up front on the stage? I don't like to see that so I just treat myself to imagined air keyboardists in my head - imagine it, that is a sight for sore eyes. Think string puppets.
Oh and a word about the bass guitar - that was the best sound I'd heard in a while. Turn it up! Turn it UP! But somebody please give that man a meal, he looked so darned hungry.
Thanks to our in house photog Peter Williams for the amazing cell phone shots, with assists from Bro' Kirk and Ricky the Slash fan.
Memories are Now, is a bold and inventive collection from Jesca Hoop who says each new record begins with a musical identity crisis
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