Monday, January 28, 2008
Kimya Dawson - Midtown Dickens - Paleface - Angelo Spencer
Bull City HQ was the location for a night of mostly upbeat, very loose, and occasionally dare I say endearing, music. This bill was almost upstaged by its location. Located on a somewhat delapidated block of North Mangum street the Bull City HQ is an unusual venue at best. Obviously a center for a free bike program a makeshift art gallery and now a music space this quirky space is nestled between storefront churches (one of which is named "The True Way Church of God in Christ Jesus"). So it was here with a packed house that this group of mostly acoustic outsiders performed.
First up was Midtown Dickens, and with the crowd as thick as it was (did I mention I have no pictures of the bands?) it was hard to see the performers but the performance was intimate and easily heard. It had the aura of being at someones house and they suddenly decided to put on an impromptu show of some kind. Playing guitars, banjos, drums, trumpets and singing their throats sore I found the raggedy string band charm of this group to be very musical and light hearted.
Next up was Paleface, a duo that noted they were old friends and touring mates of Kimya Dawson. Their sound was not unlike an unplugged flat-duo-jets at times. Starting off softer and ending on a somewhat harsher set of songs, the performance was accomplished and emphatic.
Angelo Spencer was the penultimate performance and left alot to be desired. While the crowd enjoyed his thrashing electric noodlings Angelo managed to forget his lyrics, stop his songs and beg for mercy. He was ultimately a crowd pleaser but this left me strolling outside to take pictures until he was done.
Kimya Dawson is some kind of miracle. The perfect embodiment of the indie zeitgeist of the 2000's with her unkempt hair and her sweet and offbeat intelligent lyricism all paired with that crackly charming croon of hers. She rattled off more words in a single song than a dictionary and most of them were insightful and funny. Her material had a somewhat narrative sense to it - if you are a zen buddhist. Throwing away more good metaphors than Bob Dylan she was also very entertaining in-between songs.