Lake Inferior and Lafcadio benefit show review 11/19
Like most of you I am horribly behind in far too many classes to admit here, but I am thrilled to be awake at 12:54am writing this review of a stupendous show put on by two of our very own Vinyl Records artists, Lake Inferior and Lafcadio. The show was benefiting C.A.S.A., an organization in rural Mexico that provides medical equipment to improve fetal health, and the good news is there were lots of people willing to give tonight. Although it got underway a tad on the late side, the show ran smoothly and showcased the magnificence once again of our resident tech wizard David.
Lake Inferior started things off with a set that can only be described as a random sampling of everything and nothing you have ever heard before. Unfortunately Dax was recovering vocally from a show the night before and so was oddly quiet, but the melodic contributions of Bo and Derek were plenty of reason to smile about the sound that is Lake Inferior.
Its hard to describe because any word or genre leaves out other elements that they somehow tie together into open songs that wind and weave from slow to fast tempos and back again and cover enough emotional conflicts to fill another DSM IV. From the get go with the rocking track “Land Locked Surf Rock”, you could tell it was going to be an experimental and eclectic night of music. The best way I can think of to perhaps do them justice would be to imagine giving a bunch of brilliant but frenetic kids the keys to Radiohead’s studio and then recording the result.
I don’t make that comparison lightly, I think Radiohead are the most innovative and important band of our generation, but there are some definite comparisons that must be pointed out, aside from the fact that when warming up they played the first few bars of “15 Step”. Both seem to love playing with sounds on Macintosh’s and adding eerie samples into already complex songs. Nasir seems to channel Thom Yorke when he wails on tracks like the ambient “Vancouver” that displays of all things a dubstep influence, seriously. They even covered “Psycho Killer” from the Talking Heads, the band from whom Radiohead took their name. According to our very own Mike Mahoney, one of our wonderful A&R guys, Lake Inferior are “jammy in the best possible way!” Take it as you will, but one thing is certain, they do know how to jam and they definitely know how to wow an audience with their technical ability, range, and creativity.
Then it was time for Lafcadio, who, like Lake Inferior, revealed some new tracks that are sure to be fast favorites. They are sporting a slightly different look, minus a mohawk and plus a bassist (the incomparable Eric) and some electric guitar, giving them some edges to work with in their more blues influenced tracks.
They too display a myriad of influences, most noticeably folk, rock, and blues, but that’s not to say that their sound is by any means predictable. Each track is a new exploration of the talents of each member and the passion which they put into their songwriting process. Liz Ross is as sultry and powerful a singer as you will ever hear and can go from a swinging dance number with playful trills to a mellow southwestern samba without batting an eye.
One of the most memorable moments of the night was their cover of “The Son of a Preacher Man”, made famous by the likes of Aretha Franklin and Dusty Springfield, which jazzed up the stage and got the whole crowd snapping their fingers and grooving. Although they have added electric instruments into many of their songs, Ross made sure to remind the crowd that the reason they “play acoustic is because we don’t want to make anyone explode.” Seems reasonable enough to me. I’ve been known to throw out some esoteric food metaphors before in relation to this group, so here’s another one for old time’s sake: bite into a fresh habanero pepper and take a swig of sweet rice milk. If you’ve got a spicy, silky, fragrant taste in your mouth thats spreading throughout your body then you are starting to understand what its like to hear Lafcadio live.
It was shocking how the night slipped effortlessly through so many different moods and sounds, it was a veritable feast of musical delight for everyone involved, and I don’t think I could have spent my Wednesday night any better way than listening to great music and helping a worthy cause. My thanks to everyone involved, hope to see you next time, and if you didn’t catch the show check out the recording here!