July 10, 2015

WE CAN'T MAKE IT THIS TIME, BUT... (profanity alert):

The good folks at Northern Spy Records let us know that Shilpa Ray, is playing in South Burlington on the 12th of July. She recently appeared on the WNYC show Studio 360 with Kurt Anderson.

And really, how often do you get to hear Hindu-American punk rock featuring a harmonium?

Shilpa Ray
July 12th, 2015 @ Higher Ground Showcase Lounge
Burlington, VT7:30pm
$15 advance / $18 door
w/ Murder by Death
Ticket Link

Shilpa Ray Continued Her Rise to Power at Northside Festival 2015 (MARIA SCHURR, 8 July 2015, Pop Matters)

Ray has been a standalone talent in the bustling Brooklyn scene for years, cutting her teeth in countless small-to-mid-sized venues before landing a touring spot with Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and releasing her full-length, Last Year's Savage, last month. Last Year's Savage consists mostly of songs Ray has been developing in those Brooklyn and Manhattan clubs, material that sounded more potent than ever in Rough Trade's pristine acoustics. Sandwiched between label mates PC Worship and the Sun Ra Arkestra (on loan from El Ra Records), both of whom gave similarly immersive sets, Ray's performance held sway in its largely minimal presentation, captivating many a weary festivalgoer on Northside's closing Sunday night.
The set began with a sleeping figure wearing the same baboon mask featured on the Last Year's Savage album cover. This eerie character rose and danced in a silky white dress to album opener "Burning Bride" before drifting off into the audience. After that, blistering song followed blistering song, with a couple of breathers granted in the form of instrument changes and well-placed banter. Despite a set that wasn't quite an hour, Ray touched on a couple of periods throughout her career, including a song from her mid-'00s band Beat the Devil and a few cuts from her 2013 EP It's All Self-Fellatio Shilpa Ray. The Last Year's Savage single "Johnny Thunders Fantasy Space Camp" gets special mention for its pounding singalong quality and its ability to feel even shorter than its 2:30 run time. It's the sort of song you wish were twice as long, although it still manages to stick in the head for days despite its brevity. It would be easy to say that "Johnny Thunders" is the strongest song on the album, but tracks such as "Oh My Northern Soul", "Moksha", and "Pop Song For Euthanasia" make such convincing cases that it's impossible to state such a thing with much assurance.

Ray's impassioned and titanium-strength voice and harmonium-pounding is the star of any show, but a few words of praise are also due her backing band, dubbed the Rayettes at one point in the set. These musicians include the multi-instrumentalist talents of guitarist / bassist Alistair Paxton and pedal steel player / bassist Jon Catfish Delorme, plus the invigorating drumming of Russ Lemkin.

Posted by at July 10, 2015 4:39 PM

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