photos by priscilla de lima-ledesma
words by jacquelyn pyun
“Shut the front door. She’s a real live fairy.” (Quote Whitney)
Tif Lamson from GIVERS sings, percussions, ukuleles, and jump-dance-flutters within her space. Pretty sure Whitney’s right—she’s a magical-sunshine-painted fairy.
GIVERS opened for the Dirty Projectors Thursday night at the Black Cat. Bouncing around in a line across the front of the stage, the eccentric group moves with a staccato energy that reminds me of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes—so naturally I’m in lusty love.
Their sound is kind of an afro-indie-electro-pop. A few times the chiming xylophone and clarity of the vocal layer had me thinking of Vampire Weekend—but a much more intriguing, luscious, orgy-ed version of VP.
Singing wide-smiled on lead with Lamson was Taylor Guarisco. Taylor has the biggest mouth I have ever seen, and looks oddly like Taylor Hanson. And he sings with his eyes rolled back into his head. Totally irrelevant, but I thought it was awesome.
This is GIVERS’ first time on tour, but they play like they’ve been doing it for decades. With the addition of trumpet, a second set of drums, and more voices, their fairy tale show was a mix of Sound of Music innocence and crazed carnal drum eruptions—great start to the night.
For weeks I’ve been waiting (dying) for the Dirty Projectors show. I am a huge fan of the band, and always always enjoy hearing them live. It seems like people either despise or embrace DP—maybe because of how ugly-sexy their music sometimes feels. But, for me, the inventive dissonant harmonies and syncopation are the driving forces behind their music, creating an incomparable strange-but-beautiful experience. And how they can sing those complicated minor harmonies with ten-thousand other musical stimulatory melodies blows me away every time I see them.
Dave Longstreth et al are as innovative as ever on their latest album, “Bitte Orca,” and they showed it off well Thursday. As one of the lead vocalists and the driving creative force behind DP, Longstreth’s nasal-y, creeping voice is one of my favorite elements.
A few highlights from the set in my opinion…“Remade Horizon” is an excellent show and tell of the voice control and precision that the DP women have. Angel Deradoorian, Amber Coffman, and Haley Dekle bounce their voices off each other in rapid quick-fire succession—think water droplets from a Disney movie bred with something quite a bit more R-rated. Weak-in-my-knees “Two Doves.” Deradoorian sings becomingly “call on me, call on meeeeeee,” and I want to kiss her. “Stillness is the move” is a clear crowd favorite—as Amber Coffman wondrously projects her sultry voice into the space. And that twangy guitar wail in the chorus is addictive—it just sticks in your head.
I loved the show, but I am very much an embrace-er of DP. Other thoughts y’all? And check out Priscilla fucking fantastic shots from the show, beautiful as always.