Taking a cue from the box office, where Bridesmaids is blowing up the charts, women ruled at The Mercury Lounge on Monday night. The show, which was headlined by Machu Picchou and Whale Belly, was dominated by the outsize talents of openers Robin Bacior and Alyson Greenfield.
Bacior brings a big voice that’s like batter to a hot griddle. It crackles and bubbles and gives off a warm feeling. She doesn’t just write a song, she crafts it, setting moods and building texture with the words and music.
Just 24, she’s been called an old soul. Listen to a tune from the show here. Or check her out in person. She plays The Rock Shop in Brooklyn May 29.
If Bacior is the wise Yoda, Greenfield is the mischievous elf. A cross between Tracy Chapman and Chelsea Handler – she is irreverent and whimsical with a resplendent voice and mad, mad songwriting skills. Is she a folk artist? A rapper? A cabaret muse? She’s all that and more. Difficult to pin down, mesmerizing to watch. Her standout rap, “Michael Cera Cockblocked Me At SXSW” had me in stitches. Like many of her songs, it chronicles an actual event. But Greenfield takes mundane activities – unrequited love, technology dependent society – and delivers an unexpected musical experience, mixing musical genres and instrumentation to great effect.
That experience extends to covers as well. Greenfield performed her unique arrangement of Coolio’s ‘Gangsta Paradise’ with no accompaniment except a tiny glockenspiel. Her new EP coming out this summer called Rock Out With Your Glockenspiel Out features this song and others.
Words and photos by Shanda Boyett. Copyright 2011.