12 February 2007

bonus livestock...moooo

i spontaneously and radically saw lily allen tonight. sold out show at the tla, didn't even know about it until the other day. kind of amazingly, nobody had an extra ticket to sell me (only two other people were even looking for tickets, a couple of middle-aged guys.) but i stayed by the door and could hear plenty clearly as lily started her set with "ldn," "nan you're a window shopper," and "knock 'em out." i was feeling pretty good about not paying [$20 face value ++?], getting to hear those songs - very probably her three best tunes ("nan" is my current favorite; glad to see that it's included on the us version of the album) - hanging around outside (it wasn't even very cold), and then taking off and making my early bedtime.

but as luck would have it (or not), at that point one of the bouncers decided to just let me in. which it's hard to complain about. i went to the balcony, where the more seasoned, judgmental audience-members go to look down on the performers. (i think i've only been there once before, the last - third? - time i saw the super furry animals.) the crowd was fairly age-diverse, but mostly skewing older than you might think (judging not just from the balcony but the folks going in the door.)

seven-piece band, incl. three horns who didn't have much to do. lily just sang and occasionally triggered sound-effects samples. they did most of the album (but not "alfie"), "cheryl tweedy," a couple new ones (i think? "absolutely nothing" was pretty good), and an "acoustic medley" of what was apparently a keane cover (probably makes more sense in england?) and "naive" (which i didn't realize is by the kooks.) first encore was a specials cover, then i left.

so. it wasn't a particularly good show. lily has a nice voice, but she's not a very good performer - not at all polished, with not nearly enough charisma to make up for it. she messed up a few times and was generally awkward. she giggled (drunkenly?) almost as much as ashlee, but with none of ash's goofy girlish appeal. as far as i can tell, her personality consists of the snarkiness evidenced in her lyrics (which is not nearly sophisticated or earned enough to be cynical, it's just whiny and bratty), and having a british accent. oh right, and she was wearing a badly fitting dress (more of a smock) over jeans and high-tops.

i guess it's supposed to be spunky, or fresh, or something, but her negativity really turns me off to her music and her in general. she doesn't seem to have anything nice or sincere to say. (well, she did say the specials were amazing, and that we should all buy one of their albums if we don't have any. but the other songs she covered she said were not as good as her own songs.) she made some not-funny jokes about drinking and how she couldn't say certain things because there were "kids" there.

i do think what she's doing musically is vaguely interesting - people shorthand it off "pop," but it doesn't have much to do with any other pop these days. the closest parallel is probably no doubt (not current obv.) - with a bit more hip-hop influence, but a lot of her songs are fairly straight rock-pop too. none of the punk side of it though. anyway, that's that. the whole phenomenon is still sort of a mystery to me. nitey nite.

[eta: lily seems to be down on paris - at least, she resents being compared to her - not that that's a surprise. meanwhile the pipettes give lily mad props. hmph - can't find the post they're referring to, so no comment i guess. on the scale of vaguely revivalist british gals, i'll take pipettes > amy winehouse > lily. also nellie mckay over lily on the pre[coc/tent]iousness scale.]


Dave said...

Actually, Lily once said that all of Paris Hilton's fans should die. Jealousy is such an evil thing to watch a person have.

Glad you made it into the show, sounds like ya lucked out regardless of the puhformance.

Ross said...

oh yeah... she's right, i should die.

first i thought, well at least she's right that the musical similarities aren't "obvious," but on second thought they kind of are, given "stars are blind."

well, as they say, stars are blind.