The Joy of Love

On Saturday night Tegan and Sara brought their Love You to Death tour to the Joy Theater to close out what was by any account a rather eventful week in New Orleans.  The sisters are touring in support of their outstanding record of the same name.  There is something about this album that resonated with me in a profound way.  Their performance matched the intensity of the record in ways that I didn’t foresee.  As part of their shows the sisters typically engage in a fair bit of banter with each other and with the audience.  Given their history as LGBT activists and their engagement with American politics, the pair were shaken by the results of the election and used the show a means of consoling and empowering their fans.  Moments like this show us just how starkly some events can change the progress of culture.  What could have been a party with one result became a bit of a therapy session in the light of another.  The pair are naturally inclusive and the sentiment of the evening was about going forward together.  

Politics aside, the performance was excellent.  There was a solid mix of old and new material with the older material taking the stage early and the newer material being featured toward the end.  The way Tegan and Sara have designed their stage is interestingly reminiscent of what we saw from Kraftwerk earlier this year.  The sisters (identical twins) have matching Korgs positioned on either side of the stage.  But where the robots are about the exclusion of emotion and the domination of the machine, Tegan and Sara’s show is about the amplification of emotion.  Together they build a resonance chamber for the sentiment of the songs that is powered by their shared enjoyment of performance.  Their music is rooted in many of the same principles as the robots and they may even tangentially belong to similar genres but the desired end effects of each are worlds apart.  By the time the duo reached tracks like “Boyfriend” and “100x” from the new record, the crowd had been on a collective emotional journey.  It was nice to have them there to help us make sense of our new reality.



Local Color

Thursday night Kermit is at Bullet’s and the Philharmonic plays Mozart at the Orpheum.  Friday Swamp Motel play Checkpoint Charlie and Royal Teeth have a cd release party at Gasa.  Also Friday, Tank and the Bangas with Big Freedia at the Music Box Village.  Saturday check out Mikayla at Buffa’s.  Sunday check out Joe Crown Trio at the Spleaf.  Monday is the Bluegrass Pickin Party at the Hi Ho.  Tuesday early evening Joe Krown will be at Ralph’s on the Park.  Later that night the Stanton Moore Trio will play Snug Harbor.  Wednesday Opera on Tap will be at the Four Points and Bonerama with Darcy Malone will be at Tips.


Visiting this Week

Friday Napalm Death and The Black Dahlia Murder are at Siberia.  Saturday check out Papa Mali at Tips.  Sunday Good Great Fine OK are at the Hi Ho.  Wednesday Gin Wigmore is at the Hi Ho and the Plastic Pinks are at Siberia.


To Listen This Week

Adam Torres has a great performance at the Tiny Desk via NPR.

R.E.M. share demo version of Shiny Happy People via CoS.

New track from The Flaming Lips via Youtube (graphic imagery).