Saturday, July 25, 2009

Lázaro Valiente in Brooklyn

Lázaro Valiente in Brooklyn 2009
Friday night I found myself in Brooklyn. It turned out that I had to sneak back into the City for this and that, of course I did not have my video camera with me. I don't think I have ever regretted it so much! After an always excellent nosh at The Flying Cow, we took the short stroll to Zebulon.

A Kronenbourg or two in, as I was familiarizing myself with the space, I became extremely curious about the music. Tables of props and instruments were spilling from the tiny stage; I wasn't even sure that what we were about to see was going to be music. Here is a list of a few items of note to get across what I mean: a hairdryer hanging inverted from a mic stand, a demonic drumming bear toy, the digital 1990's alarm clock we all hate for its mundane and thoughtless beep beep beep, clearly mic'd up. Everything indicated a band, so when Mauricio Pastrana hit the stage alone and began the opening drum solo, I continued to wait for others to join in. The evening went on like this. I never really figured out what was happening, even at the end of the night when the "band" did indeed join in. They appeared to be people from the crowd who just volunteered. "I really need a band for this one. Does anyone want to play anything? Are there any drummers here?" etc. Being in Brooklyn, it was a strangely tight impromptu.

Lázaro Valiente at Zebulon 2009
The music itself, whether coming through two cell phones apparently calling each other, amidst the humming hair-dryer-pendulum, or being played completely in reverse at the conclusion, always has this comforting acoustic guitar and voice that seem to emerge from the radio noises and dreamy xylophone. It's like struggling with the radio dial, trying to find that pretty little crackling song that is barely coming through, while you drive across some scorched uninhabitable stretch. It's hard to characterize, but it's enjoyable to allow the extreme shifts to seed one another. The hated alarm clock has become one of my favorite sounds - at the right time it brings such a sweet sense of order and rhythm.

Lázaro Valiente CD NYC Mix Needless to say, I grabbed one of three records that he had left, and I have been listening to it heavily on the long drive up to Maine. I think one should definitely get his/her hands on one, but it strikes me as much more a companion to the whole LV experience, analogous to the sing-a-long melodies that underlie the music itself. A record without a show seems aborted, and vice versa. Apart from the disc, I received in the packaging some Mexican candy and a Batman figurine who seems to have been poured from a dented mold. The superhero aura seems much less majestic when the hero's collagen appears to be failing - or perhaps he is out for his last adventure. Only having a few discs ready seems forgivable, when the artist hand stitches each case, which I found when I opened the netting that kept the whole bundle in congress.

The Times likened LV to the "Mexican cousin of Devendra Banhart," which I can see after really listening to the record. I personally have never seen a Devandra Banhart show, so I am unqualified to comment, but I would be surprised if any live show is comparable to this. He only has only more NYC show: he will be scoring a film at CINEMA 16, which takes place at The Bell House in Gowanus on August 9th. I am really looking forward to that.

Lázaro Valiente CD NYC Mix
"Alfombran El Día" by Lázaro Valiente download mp3 (with permission)
Buy Lázaro Valiente Records!!
Download a free EP!!

1 comment:

demo milton said...

Lazaro Valiente es de mis personas favoritas.... sobre todo cuando lo acompaña el otro Lázaro..
Buy his SHIT... this kid esta bueno..

Apart from his live act,, he also performs in public spaces using diverse instruments, such as whistles, sirens, and bigger ones, like police cars...