photos by Andrew St. Clair
[Braids] singer-guitarist Raphaelle Standell-Preston's voice had largely abandoned her by the time the band hit the stage [on Feb 18th at The Rock N Roll Hotel in DC], turning an elastic, emotive weapon into a meek croak. Early in the set she strained and failed to hit notes normally well within her range and, at one point, simply stopped singing to apologize mid-song.Both Baths & Braids were battling illness at that DC show and Raphaelle Standell-Preston (Raphie) was still very-noticeably sick the following night at Knitting Factory, but has soldiered on. After a night off, Braids played Glasslands on Tuesday, and then Mercury Lounge again with Baths last night (Wednesday, 2/16). Raphie and Katie (the keyboard player) were still sick, but you wouldn't know it.
Her bandmates soldiered on, playing dramatic and surging songs with interwoven melodies and shifting tempos. They are slowly unfolding, cinematic creations that consistently simmer, if rarely explode. Many of them swell and subside over the course of six or seven minutes, like tornado funnels that never wreak complete havoc by touching down.
Baths, the one-man project of baby-faced 21-year-old Los Angeles resident Will Wiesenfeld, opened his headlining set by telling the crowd he was getting over a cold and asked listeners not to hold it against him if he had to pause at some point to blow his nose. No handkerchiefs were necessary, though. Standing behind an array of samplers, keyboards and other electronic gizmos, he played glitchy dance songs with more immediately satisfying payoffs than anything in the preceding set. -[Washington Post]
True Womanhood and Houses (who replaced Star Slinger) opened the Manhattan show. Houses frontman Dexter (who played second) normally plays with his girlfriend and a drummer, but since they were asked last minute, only he traveled from Chicago. Their album recently came out on Lefse Records.
More dates HERE. More pictures from Mercury Lounge are below.