What do you get when the equally weirdness-loving Roofless Records and Laundry Room Squelchers team up? This Thursday marks the first such promotional collaboration, but apparently it yields an awesome night of lo-fi, scuzzy, and experimental sounds that marry old-school with new.
Representing the old-school is L.A. underground legend Azalia Snail, a solo wonder woman who got her start in '80s New York writing off-kilter, four-track hymns that sounded both lush and stripped-down. Thanks to boosterism from radio station WFMU, she was soon dubbed the "Queen of Lo Fi." Finally crowned, though, she decamped in 1999 to Los Angeles, a city perhaps more fitting for the psilocybin-dripping mood of her music.
Snail — that's her real name — is unabashed about the influence of psychedelics on her work, and cites past glam gods such as T. Rex, Roxy Music, and Mott the Hoople among her idols. Imagine stripping off all the studio layers of those groups, retaining their Oscar Wilde-ian lyrical and structural flights of fancy, and channeling it through a muse with an ethereal, dream-pop-worthy voice. Snail is a singular talent whom New Times sister paper L.A. Weekly dubbed "Best New-Genre/Uncategorizable Artist" in 2000 — some 13 years after she had become active in music.
The openers at this show are equally worthwhile. Olympia, Washington act Gun Outfit has been described as a sonic cousin of X, and the band features the same sweet male/female vocal interplay but set atop more atonal, postpunk riffage. The duo No Age is a fan, which is all the underground-lo-fi cosign you need. Also performing are Dads — a Tampa act born from the ashes of a couple of popular hardcore and noise bands from the city — as well as Miami left-field staple Rat Bastard and Amanda Green.
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