Serena-Maneesh, Dirty On Purpose, Bardo Lake, and Woven Hand
Greenpoint, Brooklyn – At the behest of a friend, I headed out to the Warsaw in the Polish National home to check out Serena-Maneesh. They were the last act of the night, reasingly drew my attention throughout the show. That and, even as a heterosexual male, New Bass Player was the evocation of rail-thin, modern hotness. While playing beautifully, he worked the crowd admirably. I’m surprised no woman in the audience was overcome with faintness. WhileI had mixed responses to Serena-Maneesh, there’s definite growth potential and I look forward to more from them as they mature.
A pleasant surprise was Brooklyn quartet Dirty On Purpose, who preceded Serena-Maneesh. Members DJ Bourdreau, Joe Jurewicz, George Wilson, and Doug Marvin were joined in their performance by Ann Brewster (from Sea Ray) on cello and a young slip of a girl named Holly on backup vocals. While certainly of interest to a much-castigated and moody trendnik set, Dirty On Purpose is a fun, heavily-melodic act worth seeing.
I’m happy that the Dirty boys have a nice give-andtake between the genders in their live set, and will be adding them to my listening repertoire of bands such as Yellowish, Elysian Fields, and Stars. The song they’re promoting heavily on the internet right now is “No Radio” and the live version is far beyond the recorded one. Covers are usually a crowd favourite, but their fast-paced, lazy-vocals rendition of Real Life’s “Send Me an Angel” didn’t seem to send the audience into much of a tizzy. Still, the crowd was bopping its way through the rest of the eight song set.
Nevertheless, their version of “Send Me an Angel” is worth bootlegging, especially Holly’s wonderful melisma towards the end of the tune. While Ann Brewster’s cello couldn’t be heard on this song due to a mix of interfering tones from the bass and a lack of throughput on the PA, she was an integral addition to the other songs in the set, something the rest of the band very much appreciated.
Woven Hand is David Eugene Edwards playing acoustic, electric, mandolin and sampler. A very powerful male voice, his work on this project is unimpressive. Parts of some songs would have a place in television shows such as Deadwood or Jeremiah, but his reliance on drones made from vocal and string samples and much-too-lengthy stretches of pedal tones make for an uninteresting live performance.
Michael Gibbons, John Gibbons, Isobel Sollenberger, Clint Takeda, and Ed Farnsworth give me glimpses of what should be my type of music, but never get there. The noise aesthetic is controversial, but can be enjoyable. This was not such an instance. Singer Isobel has an attractive voice, but needs to get her diaphragm in gear to provide the power her Morrison-like vocals hint at. Some moments of great rhythm, guitar passages reminiscent of Meat Puppets, but keyboards which mainly sound like seagulls on barge day and prolonged sonic laziness made me pray that this Keith Jarrett show without the musicality would end soon.
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