Entries tagged with: Messiah Church
How to Dress Well at a church
"I'm sure you're all here to see How to Dress Well," joked the one-man opening act Autre Ne Veut as he walked on stage Friday night (maybe you also caught him Saturday at Pianos). But even if his frank assessment held a bit of truth, the mysteriously anonymous Brooklyn artist certainly caught the attention of the audience by his first move: stripping down to just a black tank top and underwear. (ok, so he was actually just changing his pants, but really - who does that on stage?)
Autre Ne Veut's set-up was pretty bare bones - just a guy singing karaoke style over 80s-fab beats and melodies and stumble-dancing around a smokey stage. Judging from the bemused expressions in the room, I know I wasn't the only one perplexed and bemused by the over-the-top performance. He may not have played any instruments, but the anonymous Brooklynite was constantly on the move - crouching down on stage, dangling the mic over his head, jerking back and forth, and swiveling hips in time to the music. "I feel a little like I'm watching a Paula Abdul video," whispered my friend Sarah. So true.
Near the end of his set, a little fan club of dancing girls formed at the foot of the stage. A couple of people even picked up the votive candles from the stage and began to swing them over their heads as Autre Ne Veut repeatedly sang the line, "You'll be dreaming about me." Even after he had concluded his set (with the requested song "Wake Up"), he stuck around on stage to dance when the house music (Prince's "Kiss") came on. How perfect.
In between sets, people milled around the small room of the church, sharing beers and exchanging stories as more people filtered in from the snowy Greenpoint streets
"I usually try to only play shows at Best Buy and Brooklyn Bowl, but a church will do" said How to Dress Well's Tom Krell near the beginning of his set. And he was right - a church did seem to be an apt setting given his soulful falsetto (Antony Hegarty meets Usher) and the air of reverence emitting from the crowd.
Krell may have had "a little bit of a cold," but it didn't seem to hinder his performance. From his perch on the dimly lit stage, he easily captivated the sold-out crowd with his distinct combination of lo-fi bedroom pieces and R&B slow jams. Much of Krell's live show may be based on samples, but the result is no less arresting.
After playing nearly the entirety of his debut album, Love Remains, Krell returned to the candlelit stage for just one more song. "Don't tell anyone about this. I could get sued," he hastily confessed. To the delight of the crowd, he concluded his set with an Ariel Pink cover - "Fright Night (Nevermore)" (or by his dubbing, "Friday Night").
Speaking of Ariel Pink covers, if you were wondering (like I was at first), why I didn't include the now-everywhere-on-the-internet Ariel Pink cover by Staten Island's PS22 in the post I did about PS22 on Friday, well it's because the very-bloggable video wasn't actually posted to PS22's YouTube until later that day. If you haven't seen it yet, you can now watch it below.
Also below are more pictures and videos of both acts at the church (including a shot of HTDW's setlist), video from a show How to Dress Well played in Toronto since then, and more tour dates...
DOWNLOAD: Autre Ne Veut: "Two Days of Rain" (MP3)
How to Dress Well @ Glasslands in August (more by Erez Avissar)
"One of the lessons of this past year is that there's surprisingly fertile ground to be tilled between D'Angelo and Avey Tare. Between them, stripped-down R&B and arty, slurry, ritualistic avant-pop privilege a similar kind of guilelessness. Both modes do impressionism well, and both have no problem letting vocals veer into the moans and murmurs one might hear at a séance. Differences abound, of course, but so do signs of fruitful communion-- among them Autre Ne Veut. A one-man act from New York (he prefers to keep his identity secret), Autre Ne Veut shares qualities and a scene with acts like How to Dress Well, Games, and, less directly, soul-aspiring indie bands from Bon Iver to Yeasayer. But Autre Ne Veut has something special. For one thing, every song on his self-titled debut is a marvel, each in its own way. For another, the way he steers his voice toward the eccentricities and extremes of R&B sounds disarmingly logical, natural, and heartfelt." [Pitchfork]How To Dress Well (whose favorite records of 2010 include Burzum and Gucci Mane) will play a show with Autre Ne Veut (possibly with dancers?) at the Messiah Church in Brooklyn on Friday, January 28th. Tickets are on sale.
You can also catch Autre Ne Veut at a more traditional venues, at Pianos in Manhattan, on January 29th with Zambri, Laurel Halo and Mirror Mirror. Tickets are on sale for that too.
All tour dates below...