Friday, May 1, 2009

Bat for Lashes

Lately, I feel like I am saying this more and more (which bodes well for the music scene), but, Bat for Lashes performed one of the best concerts I've ever heard last night. The sound was full, thick with magic and mystique. Natasha Khan was sensual and alluring, her tall lanky form moved languidly about the stage, that is, when she wasn't playing the auto-harp, keyboard, or guitar and singing like the world's most completely arousing angel.

I owe Natasha and Bat for Lashes an apology. I assumed her voice and sound was another product of pro-tools magic. I was wrong. Her voice is her most powerful instrument. It drove chills down my spine, made my eyes well with tears, and stirred feelings within me for women that I had long forgotten. Yeah- I said it. Natasha made me want to sleep with her. She's one of the sexiest female performers I've ever seen. She's right up there next to Siouxsie. However, the difference in sex appeal between these two women is monumental. Siouxsie makes you want her because she is raw, aggressive, and almost masculine in her appeal. She's a violent and vivacious woman, whose deep throaty husk of a voice makes you uncomfortable and interested all at once.

Natasha on the other hand lures you in not through aggression, but through her subtle wispy and overtly feminine voice and movement. The casual sway of her hips, the crisp glimmer of her smiling white teeth through her full parted mouth, even when she's tuning up her keyboard for the next song, she's sexy. I was up in the far left balcony in the press section of the Bowery Ballroom. I was pressed up against the wall and I had absolutely no view. I caught her only in glimpses, but that was enough for her to cast her spell but her visual appeal was only one small part of the overall seduction.

Then there's the music, my God the music. We all know I have a penchant for the dramatic. We all know I love eccentric lyrical style, musical arrangements, and the use of non-conventional instruments in modern music. Well, I get these elements in spades with Bat for Lashes. First of all, there's the flair of the "synth" element to the music that hooked me from the beginning. The way they translate it live rivals Nine Inch Nails (and I am NOT kidding folks). Bat for Lashes interprets their polished heavily synthesized orchestral music catalogue and translates it into a well thought out organic mythological beast of concert sound. Bat for Lashes are concert fairies and I BELIEVE, I BELIEVE!

I certainly clapped enough. The music took on a whole new element for me live. It was tribal, visceral, and yet it was also intellectual, and poetic. Natasha's voice is heavenly and Bat for Lashes sound is earthy. Bat for Lashes is a marriage of the realm of faerie and man, and I am grateful to have been standing before them savoring the delicious auditory feast they presented. Everyone should be listening to them.

For those of you interested, here are some of the songs they played (in no order)
Opened with: Glass (the perfect opening song)
Sleep alone
Horse and I
Daniel (acoustic, stripped down version)
Good Love
Siren Song
The Wizard
What's a Girl to Do?
Pearl's Dream
Peace of Mind
Two Planets
Moon and Moon
Bat's Mouth
Traveling Woman
Closed with: Daniel (original version)

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