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Bliss Blood and Al Street / Blog

Links to hear us live on WFMU

Links to listen to Monday's live radio performance on Dan Bodah's Airborne event program, WFMU.org : mp3 download http://www.wfmu.org/listen.m3u?show=49499&archive=85591 pop-up flash player http://www.wfmu.org/flashplayer.php?version=2&show=49499&archive=85590

Live on WFMU.org and 3 shows this week!

Lots of fun shows around town for Bliss Blood & Al Street this week. We're starting on Monday night with a live radio performance on Dan Bodah's AIRBORNE EVENT program, which airs Monday, February 18 starting at 9:00pm on 91.1FM in the New York/New Jersey area, or conveniently online at their website: http://wfmu.org/audiostream.shtml Then catch us at one of these great neighborhood venues in New York: Brooklyn, Astoria/LIC, Lower East Side!

Wednesday, February 20, 10:00pm PETE'S CANDY STORE 709 Lorimer St. Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Thursday, February 21, 9:00-midnight REST-AU-RANT 30-01 35th Avenue (corner of 30th St.) Long Island City, NY 11106 718.729.9009

Saturday, February 23, 9:00pm SWEET GRAPES WINE BAR 39 Essex Street between Grand & Hester New York, NY 212-529-6653

Sunday, March 3, 9:30pm PETE'S CANDY STORE 709 Lorimer St. Williamsburg, Brooklyn with BULL THIEVES

Bliss Blood and Al Street’s Evanescent: One of the Year’s Best Albums

Bliss Blood and Al Street’s Evanescent: One of the Year’s Best Albums

It’s always cool when a great artist decides to give away free tracks. When those tracks are among that artist’s best ever, it’s time to get busy downloading. Bliss Blood – New York’s reigning goddess of retro – decided to put the debut album by her new duo project Evanescent, with guitarist Al Street, up at reverbnation as a free download. Her Hawaiian swing crew the Moonlighters may be iconic among NYC artists, but they’re only her best-known group: in the last ten years, she’s also sung straight-up swing jazz, creepy cinematic noir songs, and barrelhouse blues (and S&M punk rock, if you count her teenage band the Pain Teens from the early 90s). But this flamenco-tinged unit with just ukulele, acoustic guitar, Blood’s lush, velvet vocals and a ton of reverb that amps up the lurid factor, may be her best yet. The joke here is that this music is actually the furthest thing from evanescent – it lingers and haunts. Blood has never sung better – the Moonlighters’ harmonies range from sensual to chirpy, but here Blood runs deep and dark with an unexpected gravitas and also a sultry allure that beats anything the Moonlighters have done – and they’re a great band.

The first track, Swallow the Dice, sets the stage, low-lit in red: it’s a menacing flamenco waltz, a defiantly metaphorical tribute to beating the system. Likewise, the steadily pulsing Liplock mines a series of double entendres, some of them ironic: play your cards too close to the vest and risk losing everything. Bulletproof is absolutely gorgeous, seductively bittersweet, all too aware of how invulnerability can be a double-edged sword:

Impervious to pain I dream undaunted Until I’m wanted and flaunted again Bad bargain, maybe I made it, unflinching I keep it, bewitching And blindly I see It’s a barrier around me Makes me bulletproof Nothing can touch me No one but you

The strongest track, lyrically at least, is Blackwater, a blistering broadside originally done by Blood’s “crime jazz” band Nightcall during the waning days of the Bush regime when mercenaries in Iraq were slaughtering civilians left and right. Here it’s reinvented with a sarcastic rockabilly shuffle rhythm as Blood rails against the conscious-less cynicism of the soldiers of fortune who think nothing of “blood spilled on the sand.” The sultriest track is The Palace of the Wind, its Dr. Zhivago ambiance lush and pensive over Street’s agile broken chords. With just ukulele, bells and vocals for most of it, Butterfly Collector wouldn’t be out of place in an early 60s Henry Mancini soundtrack. There’s also the torchy, Freudian Legend of a Crime; the brisk, galloping Ella Es El Matador, the give-and-take of a hookup explained as a bullfight; the echoey, pillowy, sad guitar-and-vocalese instrumental Firefly, and the sly, reggae-tinged come-on Your Mayhem. One of the best albums of the year, for free. Evanescent play DBA at 113 N 7th St. (Berry/Wythe) in Williamsburg on 4/16; 4/22 they’re at Cin-M-Art Space, 43 Murray Street, (W. Broadway & Church).

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