Spring 2010 at Wesleyan is in session, and here to kick it off this Saturday night will be the fantastic Shilpa Ray and Her Happy Hookers, preceded by Wesband Duchampion.
Shilpa & co. have been local favorites in Brooklyn/NY for over two years, and have been racking up buzz since playing SXSW last spring – they were dubbed the past summer’s “Best Band in Town” by NY Press, and lately they’ve opened for the Fiery Furnaces, Lou Reed, Laurie Anderson, and Sonic Youth, and been endorsed by Nick Cave.
Shilpa Ray plays the harmonium, a droning staple of Indian music which is backed up here by a four-man band and set against Shilpa’s raw onstage energy and banshee wails. The sound has been described as “grinding blues, sleazy jazz, and bracing rock… Something like a vulgar Ella Fitzgerald, singing her songs before a wall of distortion and thunderous, pounding rhythms.”
Live act not to be missed if you can get it – something like this:
Start second semester off right this weekend, with what will undoubtedly be a ridiculous show. Facebook event here.
Date: Saturday, January 23
Time: 10 pm – 2 am
Some reviews/videos after the jump:
“Following the demise of her previous band, Beat the Devil, Ray has struck out on her own, further showcasing her seemingly indestructible vocal chords. She screams, growls, and snarls her way through the screeching muck of oil-stained garage rock and backwoods blues, cresting just above the waves of a sonic tumult that threatens to consume her minuscule frame. This tenuous command of a raucous sound makes for a volatile breed of rock and roll.”
– New Yorker
” Shilpa Ray & Her (male) Happy Hookers are pretty much blowing my mind these days and this show was no exception. Shilpa has an addictive rasp that screams Fuck-all attitude”
– Brooklyn Vegan
” 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… 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.”
– Village Voice