Sunday, April 1, 2012

Show Review - Anti Folk Movement - Kimya Dawson & Jeffrey Lewis - Club Cafe - Warhol

We have had 3 artists come into town this year considered part of the 'anti-folk movement'. Jaymay, Kimay Dawson and Jeffrey Lewis make up this trio who all performed at the Sidewalk Cafe in NYC. I spoke briefly about Jaymay's show this past January (her new 2 minute LP was just released). I wanted to just touch on the other two shows here.

Kimya Dawson performed to a sold out crowd at the Warhol this past week. Her popularity has increased 4 fold with the assistance of the cutesy Juno film which featured her songs and made her a platinum recording artist. The thing that surprised me was the amount of children (not kidding) between the ages of 9-15. Most were female and sitting with their parents amongst other friends. I always enjoy seeing parents take their kids to shows because mine never did. However, the thing that was troubling was the language and song themes throughout the opener (Your Heart Breaks) and main set. I am not one to shy away from a little color, but some of these songs were rather graphic. Lesbianism, f-ing, drugs, alcohol, four letter words, etc. were thrown out with candor. YHB even made the comment that a father approached her after the set the previous night and said she would have filled his 'cuss jar' to the brim. Yeah. KD's set was a bit tamer, but touched on themes of drugs, alcohol as well. She also is a mother, so I guess she feels that this is suitable for the crowds that now see her perform. They both aren't curtailing their set to their new found fan base. Never sell out I guess. Oh, you really have to like twee as well.

Jeffrey Lewis played this past Saturday evening as well. He is one of the more entertaining acts, even though this night he appeared a little road weary. He has that same charisma and charm that Jaymay provides, rapping with the audience, telling smart and loquacious antidotes about his travels and making you feel he is performing solely for you. He mentioned his story of his recent travels to SXSW where his vehicle broke down and he had to purchase another; and before you knew it, that vehicle broke down again on his tour back up to NYC. It made you want to purchase some of his comics/cd's to help him get there. The surprisingly lardge audience really enjoyed his set. Surprising to me is a lot of them (mostly female) were purchasing his comic books after the set. Not his music. Found that pretty cool.

Hopefully the anti-folk group will come back again soon. Maybe as a trio.