At one point during Anika's set at Le Poisson Rouge last night (9/27), someone in the audience starting chanting "A! N! I! K! A!" in hopes, I think, of getting a reaction. But Anika's detached cool was unflappable. She didn't say a single word to the audience. Not a "Hello," "Thank you," or "Good night." Which is exactly what everyone wanted from her given the icy post-punk sound of last year's debut album.
Her band, featuring the rhythm section of BEAK> plus a guitarist and keyboard player, were similarly understated but delivered 100% on that minimalist, dub-heavy sound. The drummer had a three-piece kit, plus what looked like a Mattel Synsonics drum pad sitting on top of his snare. They played the entirety of Anika's debut, plus a few new covers, including The Crystals' infamous single "He Hit Me (It Felt Like a Kiss)" and an absolutely killer version of Chromatics' "In the City" which was one of the night's highlights. Also awesome: "Yang Yang" (a Yoko Ono cover), "No One's There" and, especially, "Masters of War" (a Bob Dylan cover). She closed the show with a 1-song encore of her cover of "He Needs Me" from Popeye (listen below). She also did "Love Buzz" which is a Shocking Blue song that was also covered by Nirvana. The full setlist is below.
Sound at Le Poisson Rouge was good if not loud enough. But I feel if ever a show shoulda been at a burned-out Bushwick warehouse it was this one. Anika's music screams for that kind of urban decay locale (though her chic black dress did not), what with all the police sirens wailing in the background. Maybe Glasslands, where Anika will be playing next Thursday (Oct. 6, with Slowdance and Ducktails) will come a little closer to that vibe. Tickets are on-sale now. Anika plays All Tomorrow's Parties this weekend. She also had a Maxwell's show scheduled at some point, but that's cancelled. After the Glasslands show will head out on a short North American tour. All dates are at the bottom of this post.
Slowdance opened at Le Poisson Rouge as well and their sound was pretty well attenuated to Anika's. Quay Quinn-Settel sang in French half the time and the band mine early-'80s bands like New Order and the B-52's. You can download their just-released EP, Light & Color, for free from their website. I missed first act (and Anika's Stones Throw labelmate) Bryant K but Amanda was on-hand to take pictures.
Anika's setlist, video and more pictures from the whole show, below...
Anika - "I Go to Sleep" live at Le Poisson Rouge 9.27.2011
Anika - Setlist, Le Poisson Rouge 9.27.2011
End of the World
No One's There
He Hit Me
I Go to Sleep
Masters of War
In the City
Sadness Hides the Sun
He Needs Me
Popeye - He Needs Me - Robin Williams Shelley Duvall
Anika - 2011 Tour Dates
09.29.11 Thu Princeton, New Jersey Princeton
09.30.11 Fri Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Voyeur
10.01.11 Sat Asbury Park, New Jersey All Tomorrows Parties NJ All Tomorrows Parties - I'LL BE YOUR MIRROR NJ.
10.05.11 Wed Baltimore, Maryland Sonar
10.06.11 Thu Brooklyn, NY Glasslands w/ Slowdance
10.07.11 Fri Montreal, Quebec Club Lambi w/ Slowdance
10.08.11 Sat Toronto, Ontario Wrong Bar w/ Slowdance
10.09.11 Sun Detroit, Michigan Cave w/ Slowdance
10.10.11 Mon Chicago, Illinois Empty Bottle w/ Slowdance
10.14.11 Fri Portland, Oregon Mississippi Studios
10.16.11 Sun Seattle, Washington The Crocodile
10.18.11 Tue Trinidad, California Ocean Grove w/ Starving Weirdos
10.19.11 Wed San Francisco, California The Independent
10.20.11 Thu Los Angeles, California Eagle Rock Center
10.25.11 Tue Austin, Texas Emos
10.26.11 Wed New Orleans, Louisiana Siberia w/ Zola Jesus
10.27.11 Thu Atlanta, Georgia The Basement
10.29.11 Sat Asheville, North Carolina Moog Fest