Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Blonde Redhead at the El Rey Theatre

Penny Sparkle was one of my favorite releases from 2010. Blonde Redhead continue to modify and adapt their musical style while retaining their characteristic sound. The album is chock full of oozing synthesizers floating over sparse shimmery guitars. Touring for close to a full year, I previously caught Blonde Redhead at the Music Box for two nights (Night 1 and Night 2) and at the Glass House.

Bass Drum of Death

It is gutsy to call your band Bass Drum of Death and not include a bass player. But these boys from Mississippi knew how to kick out the jams utilizing a twin fuzzed out guitar attack supported by rapid fire drums to amuse the audience. Their debut album GB City was released by the venerable Fat Possum label barely clocks in over thirty minutes.

The Luyas

The Luyas scored points just by busting out Moodswinger which is a 12 string zither that conjured ambient stacked overtones. Hailing from Montreal and using such eclectic instruments as the French Horn and a stack of analog synthesizers, it was difficult not think of Arcade Fire.

Lead singer Jessie Stein was absolutely delightful working through a batch of songs. Their latest release Too Beautiful To Work was added to my stack of albums that garner a closer look.

Blonde Redhead
The trademark red curtains of the El Rey Theatre pulled back as the haunting pads of "Black Guitar" soon ricocheted around the venue as Amedeo Pace traded vocals with Kazu Makino. Having been on the road for so long, Blonde Redhead were super tight and the sound was perfect.

Simone Pace's dexterous drumming superimposed on a skeletal electronic drumbeat hypnotized as "Here Sometimes" continued to seduce the audience. The winding staircase guitars of "Dr. Strangeluv" were entrancing as Makino swayed with the music.

Makino would grab her white Gibson Sg and assist Amedeo in the sonic department for "Spring and By Summer Fall". Whipping her hair around, Makino swayed in time to the dark keyboards and percussive beat of "Not Getting There".

Under the cover of dark blue light, "Spain" had the perfect combination of melting guitars and whirling keyboards. Amedeo used a whammy pedal for some deep guitar bends during "23" as Makino's vocals echoed. Makino would grab her Teisco six string bass for the Amedeo led vocals of "Falling Man".

"Silently" and "Penny Sparkle" closed out their encore which still didn't satisfy the crowd. The crowd desperately clamored for more, but having seen Blonde Redhead multiple times they always leave you wanting more.