Rasputina at the Paradise!
[music | Velvetina Underground - Rusty The Black Skatemaker's Death Song]
Rasputina is always a good show, though I'm still waiting for one of their shows to match my first show with Zoe Keating and Jonathan TeBeest at Pearl St. There were some surprises tonight too, and I make some demands.
I'll start with the demands. Seems like someone should make a mashup of Rusty the Skatemaker and The Black Angel's Death Song. Maybe that someone will be me. Probably that someone will be way smarter than me.
Haale opened, and I got some photos of her and the band. It was a good set, and their percussionist, I'm pretty sure, was from hell. That guy was really good. From what I understand, they had a cellist too, but you wouldn't know it from my pictures because we were behind taller folks, usually these shows bring out little skinny midget girls, only, tonight was a pleasant surprise I guess. Haale had some mic and guitar difficulties, which concerned me for Rasputina, but it was all good and they carried the crowd through it anyway. I don't speak Persian, so I didn't really catch everything, they were great though.
I've now seen Rasputina four times, with four different second chairs, Zoe Keating, Sarah Bowman, *unidentified*, and now Daniel De Jesus. I have to say that I think Zoe Keating was definitely the most dynamic and added the most to the set. I think that's just a function of the fact that she was a long-term member and knew everything really, really well. Even still, I'd hesitate to say "collaborator", obviously, but "Journeyman 2nd Fiddle" definitely. Daniel De Jesus did a fine job all told though. He is a great player, we'll see if everything melds and this goes long-term.
When I heard the new 2nd chair was a man, I was thinking "Oh good, now we can hear 'Zoe songs', like Wicked Dickie". Well, we heard Wicked Dickie, for the first time in like 3 years at a Rasputina show, but it turns out that Daniel's voice is way higher than most, and Melora sang it alone.
I'm a firm believer that there needs to be a lower more gravelly voice to even her out a little bit. I'm clearly a fan of unmediated trilly vocals, but the context of Rasputina songs seemed to work better with more range. I guess it's just because we found the band with that voice, and now that it's gone, we miss it.
The Big News (to us) was that Jonathon TeBeest(video=holy crap) has been replaced by New Girl, Catie D'Amica, about whose history I can find nothing. Jonathon has apparently just started up a new band, which also doesn't seem to exist on the Intertubes.
I also think we'll miss Jonathon a great deal. He just made more sounds happen than New Girl did, but I'm sure she'll be fine after she's played more than a handful of shows. She played a bass drum (hammered), a snare, a bongo and a tambourine. She looked like she was learning the ropes maybe, but did a great job, hopefully we'll see more of her.
Douchebag Singing. Everyone's used to going to shows and having dumb girls singing along annoyingly. Sometimes some of them can actually sing. Still annoying. Now replace that dumb girl with Tom Waits. Singing Rose Kennedy. I found the answer. Every time dude sings along, boo LOUDLY in his face after the song is over. If the band hears it, collateral damage. That damage is balanced out with Win if you make him have a miserable time.
We had a great time and it was a really good set, the crowd seemed to really get behind the new stuff more, while we tend towards the older songs, so I didn't really get that. I think there were lots of new fans though, which is always awesome. Photos could have come out better, but I didn't have a lot of room to move, and the Paradise is lit like a candle-lit dinner at best. So enjoy very tight shots of Halle and Rasputina. I found these fantastic videos from a show a couple of weeks ago. I saw someone taping from the balcony last night, hopefully that shows up somewhere soon. Hopefully "somewhere" isn't "LiveNation TV" which seems to play only on mute in the dining room at the House of Blues.