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words by Bill Pearis, photos by Amanda Hatfield

Anika

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...

Continue reading "Anika played Le Poisson Rouge (pics, video & setlist), adds Glasslands show & other dates"