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Alien on Acid said in Novembre 6th, 2009 at 00:28

Shilpa Ray & Her Happy Hookers
A Fish Hook An Open Eye ••••½
Kepler Records

Like many superheroes, by day Shilpa Ray leads a mild-mannered life as a Manhattan shopgirl. Onstage and on record, however, she stalks in sleazy blues-punk splendour, singing with the voice and presence of a pissed-off goddess. Having disbanded her previous garage-blues outfit, Beat The Devil, Ray’s new solo pursuit sees her backed by a coterie of New York’s leading musical lights on debut album A Fish Hook An Open Eye. Halfway between Patti Smith and Bessie Smith, Ray is as refreshing as a bucket of cold water after a crawl through the arid wastes of modern music.

If the image in the album’s title induces mental recoil from potential injury, the music similarly seems to take a physical swing at the listener, so sudden, raw and snarling that you want to dodge its trajectory. After ‘Beating St Louis’, a homesick, world-weary lament over electronica that skips from jittery skittering to smooth lapping waves, the album kicks off properly with a disjointed, frenetic cover of ‘I Only Have Eyes for You’. This version is an accomplished switch from a crooner’s song of devotion to an extraordinary evocation of the breathless and desperate fixation which that emotion can produce. Blinded by love, like an enraged animal in a trap, Ray scowls and howls the lyrics of the old standard to an unseen moon over queasy backing harmonies and drums that pound with an answering frenzy.

Alternative interpretations of the blindness love can cause is a theme to which Ray returns on ‘What The F**k Was I Thinking’, a clear-eyed recounting of one-sided self-sacrificial obsession and the selfishness that results. The lyrics are ruefully hymned over a Brechtian waltz with a head-shaking payoff worthy of Amanda Palmer. The music displayed throughout these eight songs is a bracing and breathtaking mix of punk, jazz and blues – very much a collision rather than a fusion. Of all the instruments used, the most remarkable is Ray’s voice itself. She ranges like a panther from a default guttural bark to the end-of-tether drawl, frayed at the edges, that drags along the melody of ‘Woman Sets Boyfriend On Fire’; the folky croon that echoes the accordion’s nagging wail on ‘Looking For Mr Goodbar’; or her eye-opening yelp on the throat-shredding ‘I’m Not Frigid…Yet’.

If you hear just one song from this album, make it ‘I’m Not Frigid…Yet’. Here, Ray tears strips off a flurry of sexual mores in choppy put-downs rattled off over the band’s rollicking, thunderous stomp and clatter. It’s like the Buzzcocks’ ‘Orgasm Addict’ drenched in oestrogen and whisky, or ‘Hella Nervous’ if Gravy Train!!!! ever stopped giggling long enough to take a look around them. Like many of the liasions lampooned in its lyrics, the song grabs you by the waist and pulls you up against the bump-and-grinding midsection of its two-minute rampage, and then it’s over just as you start to enjoy the ride. While other songs here are perhaps more satisfying in depth and structure, this one showcases Shilpa Ray as a vital and visceral figure who might just have come to save us all.

Rhian Jones (
You’ve got a great variety of opportunities on the horizon to catch Shilpa Ray and Her Happy Hookers’ jazzy, folksy punk-rock act live! In anticipation of their debut release A Fish Hook An Open Eye, SR&HHH will first join Boss Hogg September 10 at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory.

Sometimes you see an artist that just hits you smack dab in the middle of your heart. Shilpa Ray and Her Happy Hookers are an incredible blend of grinding blues, sleazy jazz, and disturbing rock tied together with pop and punk sensibilities; the result sounding something like a vulgar Ella Fitzgerald, channeling Nick Cave and PJ Harvey crooning in front of a wall of distortion and thunderous, pounding rhythms. The band reads like a who’s who of recent NYC rock luminaries including members of Creaky Boards, Soft Black, Kapow!, and cult rock producers The Negatones. Their live shows are already a notorious commodity which regularly feature audiences that scream as loud as the band does through their instruments and voices.

Their debut album, A Fish Hook An Open Eye captures the band’s raw and unique sound in 8 solid tracks, demonstrating depth, ability, and emotional scope, eclipsing anything from Shilpa’s already lauded past. But Shilpa is not looking back: A Fish Hook An Open Eye will be released this spring and then Shilpa and her band will viciously tour throughout 2009, including opening for Boss Hogg on September 10th at the new Knitting Factory Brooklyn.

“This tenuous command of a raucous sound makes for a volatile breed of rock and roll.”
-The New Yorker

“Half the fun in seeing this volatile NYC jazz-folk-blues-punk outfit lies in watching the unfamiliar react the first time lead singer Shilpa Ray opens her mouth. Typical reaction: shock and awe. ” – The Village Voice

‘A Fish Hook An Open Eye’ tracklisting
This album was recorded and mixed in 8 days. We recorded it in August of last year at Melody Lanes Studios. The whole point was to break the curse of never being able to finish anything. I have been pretty unsuccessful with finishing things all my life. I had just left the first band I founded, Beat the Devil, and was starting all over again, a continuous pattern for me, like Sisyphus and his rock. This record is haphazard, full of flaws and changes genre every song, but it’s also honest, raw, and urgent. In some twisted way it describes a break up, and how pointless it is to predict how your life is going to turn out, so I guess it’s also about recovery after failure. – Shilpa Ray

Beating St Louis
This one’s about the three way drunken fist fight I got into with my former band mates when we were touring the country.

I Only Have Eyes For You… is a cover.
I wanted to play this song like I’m forced to look at a person with love and the great deal of hate I felt for myself for being in love.

Filthy and Free
I wrote this to escape someone else’s sense of control. I wanted to be free of the rules, expectations and criticisms people put on you to keep you down and unhappy.

The Coward Cracked the Dawn
Hmmm…I originally wrote this song to be performed as a duet. It came about after a night of binge drinking and doing a bar of Xanax. Excessive drug use is lonely unless you write a glorified pompous story about it. No one gives a shit about you. They only care about what you can provide for them. There are so many fake C grade Hunter S Thompson’s in this world. It’s pathetic. Write yourself a drug novel boys, and you’ll get an unlimited amount of pussy. Be an actual drug addict, and you’ll never get a platform, just the intense pain of fucking up your anonymous aging body.

I’m not Frigid..Yet
I had just broken up with a boyfriend who was too embarrassed to call me his girlfriend. As a source of comfort my friends kept encouraging me to screw everyone in town. I couldn’t do it, but I could sit on the sidelines like the old dudes on the Muppets and make fun of it. Have you ever met the crap that’s out there? And the lame rituals you have to do to get that kind of crap to go to bed with you? Sheesh!

What the Fuck was I Thinking?
Well, that just about says it all. I do love a good waltz.

Woman Sets Boyfriend On Fire
This was the title on a CNN article, where a woman lights her boyfriends dick on fire, after she finds out he cheated on her. WOW!

Looking For Mr Goodbar
This was fun. We recorded this with a room mic and ended up using the first take.


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B16 said in Novembre 6th, 2009 at 09:19

dal corriere:

Il monumento-simbolo del­la città ieri ha fatto da sfondo a un altro evento. Un miniconcer­to degli U2 per 10 mila vincitori di un concorso via internet. Gli altri tutti fuori con transenne che in alcune zone impedisco­no la vista. Ed ecco la polemica: si alza un «muro» proprio men­tre si celebrano i 20 anni dalla caduta del Muro? «È una vergo­gna che sia stata eretta una bar­riera », dice Frank Henkel, espo­nente della Cdu, all’opposizio­ne nel municipio di Berlino. E le sue dichiarazioni, riprese dal­la Bbc, fanno il giro del mondo. Poi gli organizzatori si giustifi­cano: «Nessun muro, solo misu­re di sicurezza». Bono e soci (poi all’Arena per ritirare il premio come mi­glior band live) partono con «One» che venne scritta pro­prio qui e sul fregio della porta si gioca agli opposti con le proiezioni: stelle e strisce con­tro falce e martello, Est contro Ovest, tutto si armonizza con un cuore e la scritta, in stile graffiti, «One Love».

La voce di Bono fatica e per «Sunday Bloo­dy Sunday» arriva Jay-Z che in­serisce in stile hip hop «Get Up Stand Up» di Marley. Quindi «Beautiful Day», «Vertigo», «Moment of Surrender».

Ma Bono ha fatto qualcosa a Laffranchi? Che p…a, fa sempre le polemichette inutili…


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buzzandmusic said in Novembre 6th, 2009 at 09:48

Mitico il ns Alien e il ns b16!!!!!!!Laffranchi?Boccaccia mia statte zitta:-)


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