Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Lissie, May 28 at the Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever Cemetery

Lissie was yet another act I didn't know before Carla. Clearly I'm a pushover for stuff she introduces me to but she has a great track-record with me.  Even better are the bands she's been into for a while that I've missed for whatever reason, but the great thing about music is that you can always catch up later.  We got tickets for her show at the Masonic Lodge at the Hollywood Cemetery, a venue we'd never been to for a concert (though we'd gone to a different section of the cemetery for movies in the summer).  I got Lissie's first album, Catching a Tiger, to catch up, and I really got into it. Carla's introduction to her was the Kid Cudi cover but I went with "When I'm Alone."  It's been easy to connect to female singer-songwriters since the early '90s, especially ones too spunky for easy pop stardom, and I've been as big a fan as anyone. Lissie falls into that archetype, though on her own terms, and it works, for as many people who know about her.  She has the talent and looks to be a starlet without difficulty but there's no reason for it, with the pop world clogged with too much junk in the first place, and bless her for not bothering with that direction. She's a pretty lady who could go places on her looks if she wanted, though not wanting to also gives her a cool edge. But it can go too far, in this case, when wearing a tank top like that night, and revealing her habit of not shaving her arm-pits.  Call me a sexist or old if you like, I just always enjoyed the days when girls had a minimum of hair on the bodies.  (And to be fair: it's gross on dudes too, including, and especially, myself.) So it's a trade-off. There can never be enough talent doing things their own way in music, even if massive success on their own terms eludes them (though I always hope the deserving ones can at least make a living off it). It's a fine line between selling out a little (offering your music for a price) and a lot (letting your songs go in a direction they weren't meant to; dressing up and doing what they say) so it's hard to say if she's shooting herself in the foot by not going along with what could easily come to her or if it's a fool's dream to try to make it exactly like she wants it even if she sacrifices her own financial, and maybe eventually creative, success, but that she put out this music presumably on her own terms and it's terrific, means that we are rewarded for discovering her.  She stands her ground with "Shameless," her only new material for this pre-new-album show, which sounded great in the set. So while she's around and can do this, we get another set of great music.  But, girl, you gotta shave those pits.  The venue was great, by the way, literally an intimate, relatively little room, a wine & beer bar (better than overpriced mixed drinks), with ample, free parking.  She got a bigger place after that but for that show it was just right. Vance Joy opened the show but we weren't there for that.

Lissie's set-list:
"The Habit"
"When I'm Alone"
"They All Want You"
"Little Lovin'"
"Romance Police"
"Everywhere I Go"
"In Sleep"

"Oh Mississippi"
"Pursuit of Happiness (Nightmare)" (Kid Cudi cover)