Saturday, March 14, 2009

Paige Wood causes misgivings, then rocks

--written 02.24.09--

In Manhattan they are rife. A shock of dread jabs you when you see one on stage .. and you've already paid the cover. You walk up to the back of the venue and measure it up through the glass. Five foot five. Ninety pounds tops. Blonde and pretty. Too pretty.

The temperature last night was such that I would have watched any number of Norah Jones clones, swaying, affected, unknowing. But wait, this is Mercury Lounge. That chick's playing a Tommy James cover! Paige Wood. Sorry, love, but you are too good looking, I almost wrote you off.

So after a lengthy Crimson and Clover, the band reassured with "I Am Spy," a short treatise on man-bulge vis-a-vis the Speedo, and then "Surfer's Queen." To quote my partner, Paige has "a worthy consciousness." That does sound vague. Basically she is referring to the front-person power of indie-rock. We are not prepared to watch someone who is quite obviously a fake, but we also demand that the principal song-writer, whose art we are enjoying, give us a little shimmy now and again.**

Paige is an artist in conversation with other art forms, namely film. This manifests itself beautifully in the two aforementioned songs, but there is another angle as well. The slow, haunting "Carmelite" (which I heard this morning on MySpace) spends four minutes inside the head of a monkish layperson (actually ironically allowed in the Carmelites) getting a dose of spirituality, presumably in the face of some illness. It's a repetitive pleading song, with only a minimal bass track behind the vocal, but it's great. Exactly what I was talking about in the last paragraph. I don't care what she chooses to sing about, because I can tell that she's going to have something interesting and beautiful to say about it. I am regretting the film reference now, but I suppose it's a harmless generalization. Paige's CD is coming out very soon. I can't wait to review the whole thing.
"I Am Spy" by Paige Wood Download mp3 (with permission)

** By shimmy, I mean both a literal moving of the hips and any action that makes us smile / like the person / enjoy ourselves / understand the music in a more lush context (you would think this is easy but it isn't)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You can't get any better than Crimson & Clover, at least the Tommy James version! Dale Smith