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Friday, January 22, 2010

Shilpa Ray & Her Happy Hookers live in Indy with Pravada and AOTM

Well, A Squared successfully pulled off another big show here in Indy this past Monday at Locals Only, this one featuring Brooklyn's own Shilpa Ray & Her Happy Hookers with local support from two of Indianapolis' finest bands: Pravada and America Owns The Moon.

photo credit: Ebru Yildiz

We first got turned on to Shilpa Ray by glowing recommendations from Nick Cave, and quickly learned why her live show was causing such a stir in the blogoshere - this little lady has some pipes, people, and her wails complemented her gypsy-like harmonium jamming during her set at the cozy corner we call LOAMP.

The press for this show was nothing short of spectacular, with rave previews coming in from Metromix: "Shilpa Ray makes her case for the stronger presence of harmonium in indie rock. Add that on to her cabaret-style vocals, engaging songs and commanding stage presence, and it’s easy to see why she’s making a name for herself. The band is touring behind debut album 'A Fish Hook An Open Eye,'” while earning Number 5 on their Top 10 Events for the week; and from NUVO: "Judging from a few songs, Shilpa Ray and her Happy Hookers are worth hearing — they play a dirty but sophisticated cabaret-punk that’s firmly rooted in jazz and blues, a little bit Joplin-esque without the indulgence of Joplin’s later years. But we’ll leave it to the Village Voice to tell us why the Shilpa and her band are worth seeing: 'She looks tiny and jovial (especially surrounded by her menacing, dudely band mates), but goddamn can she ever shriek, alternating jazzy, evocative moans (she's inspired Billie Holiday comparisons, and for once they don't sound totally ridiculous) with a nuclear-grade, paint-evaporating, continent-shifting howl loaded with more volume, rage, and pathos than the entire Ozzfest lineup combined.'" Not bad!

And we are happy to report that it stood up to the previews, the show was entertaining, engaging, and just what we all needed on a Monday night!

Check out our buddy Duncan Alney's interview of Shilpa Ray at the show here: Passionati

Also, here's a review of the local jams:
"The boys were back at it Monday night at Locals Only where the bands America Owns the Moon (AOTM) and Pravada played a show with Shilpa Ray. Christian Taylor of AOTM bounced all over the stage with his signature "knee drop to the floor" power blues solos that reminded me of what could happen if Chicago Blues were to have a one night stand with grunge. The group was tight, and there was great communication going on between all members on stage. Maybe someday I'll be close enough to see the faces melt off of Danny's custom Telecaster. The full set list for the night included: Truth About Us, Bottles and Cans, Prozac City, Blues Now Honey, A Needle and a Record, Death 2 Die, Lighted Melody, DEGA, Box of Bones, Freak Out!, and The Hard Way.

Pravada, which is arguably one of the best live rock and roll bands in Indianapolis right now, followed suit with a more melodic and subtle stage presence. There seemed to be a deeper, rooted connection between Jesse and the lyrics he sang, and after having heard their album Manus Piere, seeing them live absolutely blew me away. There was no wasted sound from what I could hear. Every note was mature and deliberate. My only qualm with their set was that Jesse's microphone needed to be turned up so I could hear him better. Full set list: Holding Han, Flatbush, Teacher, Junkie, Straight Molly, One Foo, You're Fun, and Someone Other Than... There was footage taken of their set, so keep an eye out around A2 Industries for the show to be posted online somewhere."

By Andrews Feigenbaumfor

Well, Andrews was right, because here it is:

PRAVADA "Straight Guys That Dance Don't Pay" from Marshall J. Baumgartner on Vimeo.

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