Lucid Culture

JAZZ, CLASSICAL MUSIC AND THE ARTS IN NEW YORK CITY

Concert Review: Girl Friday at Lakeside Lounge, NYC 6/25/07

This band is creeper. Their songs sneak up on you when you least expect them. Sonically, Girl Friday are your basic indie rock: guitar with a dirty, unprocessed sound, bass and drums. But the songs are not. They’re very intelligent, very crystallized and when you think about it, very catchy, with something of a minimalist sensibility. They seem to be written deliberately for repeated listening. If that’s the band’s intent, they succeed. The hooks often appear unexpectedly, in places other than the front of the chorus, the turnaround or the opening of the song. Sometimes they flare up and then disappear. But they’re all over the place, and there are so many of them it’s hard to count.

Singer/guitarist Amanda Dora didn’t waste a note all night. Her vocals were casual, conversational and completely unaffected. The songs themselves remind very strongly of the late, great Scout, at the very end when they were off their brief garage rock tangent. Girl Friday evokes the same nebulous melancholia, but without the occasional Beatlisms. And they also pick up the pace with riff-driven, punchy garage rock to liven things up. Dora plays mostly with downstrokes, adding to the percussive flavor of much of their material. On one song, the bass player began the song with a reflective stroll which he took using a slide, playing through a reverb box, and continued to carry the melody through to the end. On another, Dora began with an incisive, midtempo staccato hook on the verse, but when the chorus kicked in, the band went to 6/8 time, cranked it up to a crescendo and suddenly they had an anthem.

Girl Friday were completing a Monday residency here and invited a couple of special guests up to join them toward the end of the set. Briana Winter impressed the most with a ridiculously catchy 4-chord pop song that she delivered passionately and effortlessly while the band wailed behind her.

Props to Lakeside for giving them the residency and a chance to play for a crowd who would probably never see them on the Ludlow Street strip. While they’re pretty far removed from the usual Lakeside twang (Girl Friday clang and crunch instead), they share an intelligence and dedication to craftsmanship with the best of the crowd who play here. If their forthcoming album is anything like what they sounded like tonight, it should be killer.

June 26, 2007 Posted by | concert, Live Events, Music, music, concert, New York City, review, Reviews, rock music | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments