Saturday, February 16, 2008
The Pity Party at Spaceland
If was difficult to miss The Pity Party debut Monday residency show at Spaceland. I was flattered that Spaceland took my review of their New Year's performance at Little Radio as an advertisement to attend their residency this month. The Pity Party is also celebrating the release of their new lovingly handmade EP "Orgy Porgy". I was also interested in checking out some their musical comrades Karin Tatoyan, Twilight Sleep, and The Human Value.
Karin Tatoyan set the bar high early in the evening. Bronson from the LA Times was impressed and I would agree. Karin combines various elements of classical and electronic music to forge an eclectic sound. Karin's musical stew contained elements of French Horn, Cello, MicroKorg keyboard, and Theremin. The main ingredient though would be Karin as she is an extremely compelling performer writhing on the ground at moments exorcising her demons in the form of song. I was impressed with her band though as they provided the framework for Karin's sonic tapestry. Andrew Carter (Cello/Theremin) added some nice flourishes of cello to add the odd juxtaposition of classical and electronic music. Andrew's cello strings were literally smoking at the end of the show. Karin's EP "The History of Stains" is available for download from itunes. She is on the verge of bigger things.
Twilight Sleep has come a long way since I saw them open for the Silversun PIckups back in December of 2006. I was even more impressed by their performance with Great Northern back in August of 2007. Twilight Sleep blew me away this time with a batch of tunes from their upcoming EP "Race To The Bottom of The Sea". Tracy Marcellino (Vocals/Keyboards) seduced the audience with her sultry voice as the keyboards laid you down into a literal twilight sleep. "Broken Record" was one of the new songs that was absolutely hypnotic with percolating synths and dreamy delayed guitars.
"Don't Fire Your Guns" was a faster paced song with slightly overdriven guitars countered by cloud like synth lines. Twilight Sleep will be having an EP release party at the Echo on March 6th. I recommend that you swing by and pick it up.
The Pity Party
The Pity Party continues to pull out surprises and new tricks that makes seeing them live a new experience every time. Heisenflei (Vocals/Drums/Keyboards) started the evening hunched over her augmented keyboard rack that included a microKorg keyboard along with her trusty Yamaha DX7. Heisenflei was conjuring up a new theme to the Haunted Mansion ride at Disneyland with a downright spooky track entitled "Every A.M.". It seems like The Pity Party continue their refusal of sonic classification with my only description being they sound like "The Pity Party". M (Vocals/Guitars) had an weird Effector 13 tremolo pedal for which I couldn't find any information on to add even more complexity to his already baffling guitar sounds. "Dronebots and Peons for Eons and Eons" had its usual drunk shuffle with an excellent exchange of vocals harmonies between M and Heisenflei. "H.O.T.S" from their "Orgy Porgy" EP is one of my many favorite songs from the Pity Party and borders on punk intensity with its off kilter guitars thrown against a flu stricken hi hat shuffle. The Pity Party will continue their Monday night residency on the 18th with Film School. I still can't believe it will be free.
The Human Value
The Human Value didn't mess around. They rocked the audience from start to finish holding a good majority of the Spaceland audience with an all out performance that I have rarely witnessed in the late slot. The Human Value is composed of the dynamic duo of Turu (Vocals) and Hiram Fleites(Guitars). Hiram was carrying the sonic load with his Epiphone hollowbody guitar that doubled as guitar and bass. "Pleasant Town" from their album "Push and Pull" served as the first punch to the face with its brutal guitar/bass lead as Turu raced around the stage manically. The Human Value would fall into the realm of high octane garage rock with gothic inspiration from Siouxsie and the Banshees. Turu pulled out the cowbell and stated she won a Grammy for "Pretty Mouth" as they continued to bludgeon the audience with Hiram's heavy riffs. Turu also grabbed Heisenflei in front of the stage and gave her a personal dedication as they tore into song. Their set had a sense of unpredictability and danger that is rarely seen in live shows. I especially enjoyed Hiram's leap from his amp to punctuate the set. That is what I call a rock and roll show.