Monday, March 18, 2013

Hey, I'm back, sorry about that...Lady Lamb and the Beekeeper

So this was a big weekend for Sean's college search process, the weekend that Carnegie Mellon calls its 12 accepted acting students and drum roll....he didn't get a call. So we were nervous about it all weekend and then devastated (I know we were wrong to hope, it's a loooonnng shot, but he had such a good audition that we had allowed ourselves to consider the possibility) and now sort of numb. He still has a few balls in the air, but it's looking more and more like Savannah College of Art and Design for him, which not a terrible outcome, but not as good as some of the ones we hoped for.

This is a really terrible process, I have to say. I know I identify too much with Sean's success, and I'm trying not to but it's hard to see the person you love so much and who works so hard and tries so hard and is, goddamit, so very talented, have his heart broken over and over. But I have a lot of work to do so I'm going to shut up about it.

One other thing, Sean went down to the pre-audition for Hairspray on Saturday hoping for the Link part (kind of a heartthrob) but may have walked away with Edna, the best part in the play, the one that Harvey Fierstein got a Tony for and also his first cross-dress part. I feel for the costume girls who will have to find men's size 12 heels for him...Anyway, he's fearless, my boy, and you can't keep him down for long.

Meanwhile, I have a review up at Dusted of a record that I really didn't care for very much and which I'd sort of decided not to write about, except that Otis asked me to...It's Lady Lamb and the Beekeeper, and you know, lots of people do seem to like it.

Lady Lamb the Beekeeper
Ripely Pine
Ba Da Bing

I’m not sure exactly when freak folk died, but it’s a pretty good sign it’s over when even Devendra Banhart sports a shave, a haircut, a fiancee and a surprisingly cohesive and unwacky new album. So let’s say that freak folk has passed over to that great genre bin in the sky, and let’s not expect a revival much before 2025. What do we do, then, with the spiky, adrenalized, banjo-yelp-and-stomp overload of Lady Lamb the Beekeeper?

We can’t just drop the freak part, even if the Boston Globe named the band — essentially one shout-singing dynamo named Aly Spaltro — the best folk act in 2011. After all, the designation “folk” implies a certain selfless conservatorship, an abnegation to old songs, old instruments and old ways of presenting oneself. Spaltro is in no way bound by these conventions, breaking mid-barnyard strum for an electric blare borrowed from Hendrix, attacking concepts like verse and chorus with such ferocity that she literally blows song structure apart. This is not folk, not even anti-folk, but rather a kind of acoustic prog crossed with cult-of-personality diva-pop. Never mind the banjos. There is nothing down-home (or Down East, given Spaltro’s origins) about this lady.


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