by 'Week in Indie' Bill Pearis
Have you been to Spiegletent this season, or ever? The mobile space, which is in town for three months or so on the north side of the South Street Seaport, creates a Cabaret-like atmosphere filled with mirrors and brocade that, if you're seeing the right performance, can make for a lovely evening that can be worth the hassle of the location, the generally late set times, and pricey drinks. I think the key is going to see a band matches the charm of the space. There are two this week that I think fit the bill.
Monday night (9/29) it's the Dodos and Au. Maybe buzz on the Dodos has finally died down, but I was a little surprised to see this wasn't sold out yet. (Maybe it's the venue's prices and complicated ticketing system which is a pain). Tuesday night (9/30), it's L.A. duo The Bird and the Bee, and I think that may be the utimate Spiegletent event of the season. The electronics sprinkled jazz pop made by duo Inara George and Greg Kurtsin is tailor-made for coffee shops, hair salons and episodes of Grey's Anatomy, but that doesn't mean that it's not tuneful and charming in its own right. (Kurtsin is an in-demand collaborator, and co-wrote some of the best songs on Lily Allen's debut.) They are also prolific, releasing an album and two EPs over the last year-and-a-half that are all worth checking out. Their next full-length album, Ray Guns Are Not Just The Future, is due out on January 27, 2009 on Blue Note.
Live, The Bird and the Bee really come alive, fleshed out with back-up singers and a backing band featuring Kurtsin and George's session musician pals including ace drummer Joey Waronker. And Inara George is a funny, charismatic presence. Nothing against shambolic indie rock, but hearing a band this good with their effervescent songs can be a bit of a revelation.
If you miss Tuesday's show, The Bird and the Bee will be back in the NYC-area again on October 5th to play Maxwell's. It's the last night of their current tour. Tickets are on sale. All dates & a video below...
The Bird and the Bee "Polite Dance Song"
The Bird and the Bee - 2008 Tour Dates
Sep 29 Iron Horse Northhampton, Massachusetts
Sep 30 Spiegeltent New York, New York
Oct 1 World Cafe Live Phliadelphia, Pennsylvania
Oct 3 Jammin Java Vienna, Virginia
Oct 4 Rams Head On Stage Annapolis, Maryland
Oct 5 Maxwell's Hoboken, New Jersey