From the moment Dirty Beaches took to the stage at Glasslands last Thursday, I was so ready to hate him. ”Oh great,” I thought to myself, “yet another electronic buzz band type of thing that’s actually just one guy doing karaoke over super fuzzed out guitar wales and an expensive microphone.” So. ready. to. hate. him. And I will say that I still don’t know if the music has any inherent value, but I can’t blame any other blogs for hyping this guy up. He’s interesting. He’s got a good singing voice. And he is a fantastically charismatic performer. He has the ability to dance on the border of annoying and amazing, making it impossible to look away from what you keep expecting to be a terrible performance. He’s clearly studied Johnny Cash and Elvis in depth. So much so, that I kept wondering if he was serious about music, or if he was a performance artist. He combed his hair, Elvis style, between almost every song. I know some people will hate him right away, but I thought he was a good enough performer to take serious note of. Plus, the improvised freak out at the end with the Dum Dum Girls was pretty fun.
YellowFever were, of course, excellent as always. Twitching melodies and tight but subtle vocal harmonies had the crowd at Glasslands singing along. People were even shouting out requests, which is so great to see happening for such a nice band. Widowspeak were far better than the time I saw them at Monster Island Basement. The singer has a very strong voice, but the band needs to develop a bit more before they really get good. I only hope the Internet buzz machine leaves them room to do that. Pictures and MP3s below.