Lucid Culture

JAZZ, CLASSICAL MUSIC AND THE ARTS IN NEW YORK CITY

CD Review: Carol Lipnik – Cloud Girl

Every now and then something comes over the transom here that slipped under the radar when it first came out – or in the case of this album, predated this blog. This is one of the best of those – the cd cover image of the rails of the Cyclone rollercoaster with its “REMAIN SEATED” sign overhead is apt. Celebrated for her alternately soaring and piercing four-octave range, Carol Lipnik is also a uniquely gifted songwriter with a frequently sinister, otherwise amusingly carnivalesque edge. Lately she’s been pursuing what appears to be developing into an extraordinary collaboration with singer John Kelly (John Kelly and Carol Lipnik on the same stage – just think about the possibilities that conjures for a minute). For the uninitiated, this is Lipnik’s most recent album and comprises much of what she plays live. It’s a good an introduction to this indelibly New York, Coney Island born-and-bred artist.

The cd opens with Tom Ward’s noir cabaret waltz Freak House Blues, a playfully lurid tale bouncing along with horror-movie organ from keyboardist Dred Scott – a first-rate jazz composer in his own right – and violin by Jacob Lawson. The second cut, Lipnik’s own Falling/Floating mines the same kind of creepy noir pop vein that DollHouse or occasionally Blonde Redhead would pursue back about ten years ago.

Last Dance ( a co-write with Jane LeCroy) flirts with madness:  “I can’t forget the last dance, because I’m dancing it still.” By contrast, another Lipnik original, Traveling is a lushly beautiful and sensually atmospheric. Then it’s back to the macabre with another waltz, Where Are You Going, examining the relationship between conformity and cannibalism as Lawson’s staccato violin screeches along on the beat. Atmospheric and echoey, the menace of Crushed is understated and effectively so: “Do you want me to stand on my knees for you?” Lipnik asks – but it’s obvious that she’s not offering. “I’ll be back, but I’ll be changed,” she warns on the soaring, crescendoing Mermaid Blues. Morir Sonando (a Spanish pun – it’s an orange milkshake) is a big bolero, pretty boisterous for a tribute to the delights of dreaming and sleep. The cd winds up with the haunting, hypnotic, somewhat Radiohead-inflected title track. For those who can’t get enough after all this, Lipnik’s just back from Yaddo and working on a new one. Carol Lipnik plays the Howl Festival, 8 PM on Sept 15 at the 45 Bleecker St. Theatre in the West Village.

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August 21, 2009 Posted by | Music, music, concert, review, Reviews | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Why You Don’t Want to Be on America’s Got Talent

Here’s the satirical, utterly original New York band Witches in Bikinis getting the boot on America’s Got Talent.

Now here’s the band the same day, singing the same song live on Fangoria Radio and nailing it with characteristic panache.

What the tv audience wasn’t told is that America’s Got Talent edited out 99% of what Witches in Bikinis actually sang and played. It appears that the clip is actually two edits – one from one of the choruses of Love Potion #9 and another from the very end of the song with the band edited out of the mix – pasted together to give the misleading impression that they’re getting the heave-ho after just seconds onstage. Trouble is, it didn’t happen that way. And you thought reality tv was real…

Now here’s the whole Fangoria Radio clip – with no edits. Witches in Bikinis play the Coney Island boardwalk on 8/15 and 8/22.

July 8, 2009 Posted by | Culture, Music, music, concert | , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments