5.23.2009

Shilpa Ray, Drink Up Buttercup; Piano's review

I specifically went out tonight to see the first night of Shilpa Ray and Her Happy Hookers residency at Piano’s. Drink Up Buttercup opening was added incentive for a late Wednesday night out.

Drink Up Buttercup never disappoints. In Late April they opened a two-night stint for Dr. Dog in front of an 800 capacity crowd. Tonight they came with the five remaining copies of their beautifully packaged 7" release on Kanine Records.

DUB live set had new intensity. Their movements on stage were faster and harder to capture on film without proper speed adjustments. They were quite adventurous transitioning from one song into another, adding some edgy unexpected noise, featuring a new rollicking rock song and morphing song standards. Most bands profess a style and do variations on it. Not DUB. They change styles and genres within songs making variety part of the mix. Last night only exemplified that which sets them apart.


Listen @ Muxtape
DUB Flickr Set

Shilpa Ray and Her Happy Hookers
There are not too many female fronted bands that I feel strongly about. Feeling privileged to have seen Tina Turner with the Ike, Janis Joplin, Patty Smith and Tracy Nelson reminded me of how much I miss hearing female vocalists with deep powerful affect.

Shilpla Ray has the WOW FACTOR. Her raw, gritty sincerity can be felt. It isn’t just about wow she can belt, it is the authenticity of lyrics mixed with sincerity of delivery. I love her foal mouth lyrics and the way in which she unabashedly owns them.


Shilpa Ray was center stage directly behind her Harmonium and flanked on either side by the solid tight band of four male Happy Hookers. The band can deliver a punch and their thriving presence was heightened by Shilpa’s vocal acuity. And it was loud, hard and strong.


Watching Shilpa play the Harmonium and sing was fascinating to witness. Leaning forward she undulated above and below the instrument. At times she laid her head below that afforded her pacing and build up between wails into the mic. The drumming was powerful and masculine. The small Casio, guitar and bass created orchestrated pop of magnitude and awesome noise. The only subtlety was the occasional vocal harmonies and shaker.


Shilpa Ray can Rant!

It was an unusual night for my first introduction. Up front with all the other Photographer / Bloggers, I was taking shots (Photos) while listening to the music. We were many, lining the full width of the stage. In a larger venue our numbers wouldn’t look so imposing but at Piano’s it felt wrong. After the first song she went into a rant, starting with “Fuck all you Bloggers”. At that I immediately put my camera down. She said, “I’m drunk and probably will forget all the words, I don’t give a shit what you think”. To that effect.
I felt bangs of guilt and self-doubt thinking who am I anyway. And she was right. I stopped to live for the moment to feel the music along with the enthusiastic fans. The uninhibited rants of truth continued for the rest of the set but the music is what penetrated and sustained a lasting impression. Catch them for their last residency show at Piano's May 27th!

I purchased eight songs self released EP A Fish Hook An Open Eye and listened for the late ride home. Still listening! Review soon


Apologies to Wild Yaks. They opened and I heard great things about their set.
Shilpa Ray Flickr Set

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