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Tuesday, January 26
Susan Sarandon didn’t pop onstage to spank a pig; no one shouted “9.0!” Very disappointing. Beach House’s CD-release party (“I hope you find release,” quips guitarist Alex Scally, who later adds that he hopes “we’re having a peaceful time”) is a demure, sleepy affair, a slowly breaking wave of very pretty drone-folk with songs I can’t for the life of me distinguish from one another, enlivened somewhat by singer/organist Victoria Legrand (whom we chat with here), who bellows in a solid, sultry, smoky alto with just a touch of Kim Gordon abrasion and a mercifully lack of wacky/precocious affectation. Plus her stage banter is agreeably loopy:
“This is like a birthday party. A fascist birthday party.”
“I like hot dogs, I gotta be frank.”
“The words ‘crouching tiger, hidden dragon’ just came into my mind.”
Legrand and Scally (+ superfluous drummer) mix well together, his chiming guitar and her murmuring organ inducing a sweet, surprisingly powerful stupor, the better mental state from which to regard their weird fur-covered-tree props that light up all different colors and serve to distract you from your suspicion that the difference between the song they’re currently playing and the one right before it is mostly marketing. Legrand occasionally does a bit of twee headbanging, but mostly this stays at a frustratingly pleasant, midtempo, even-tempered pitch, with only slightly louder and more emphatic encore “10 Mile Stereo” threatening to snap you out of it. “That’s the only song that orgasms,” my associate avers. Which of course only makes you sleepier.