Friday, July 8, 2011

17. Tiger Darrow at Club Dada, 7/7/11

17. Tiger Darrow, at Club Dada.

Okay, so last post could be fairly boiled down to "Hey, you kids, get off of my lawn and stop listening to that techno hippity hop, it's just noise, this country's going to hell and why do kids wear their pants so low?"  This time around, we turn a much more appreciative, less crotchety eye toward the younger generation.  This show was the opposite of the Glitch Mob, thankfully.

Tiger Darrow, a neo-folky singer-songwriter, took the stage at Dada armed only with an acoustic guitar (and sometimes a cello), plus the bazooka in her talent arsenal: her beautiful, powerful-beyond-her-years voice.  She was joined by her uncle Allan Hayslip, of Bonedome, who provided sturdy, jazzy basslines that fit the material well.  And he looked like he was having fun.

There was a five dollar cover.  About fifteen people were in attendance. The sound was fantastic once again, thanks to sound wiz Chris Carmichael.

One of these people is not a grumpy old man.

Tiger, who graduated high school this year and is young enough to have recorded a song in which she looks back fondly on being ten years old, has a grown-up voice.  She sings like Regina Spektor, or a wordier, less morose Sarah Jaffe.  She hit the high notes with ethereal purity, but also showed plenty of lung power for the heartfelt, accusatory lines of her personal lyrics. The multisyllable-jam-packed lyrics of her tales of love lost, found, remembered, and resented came rapidly and easily off her tongue, sounding like Norah Jones on speed.  And then she'd slow it down, bringing that beautiful Spektor-esque croon into a sad ballad.

She showed a playful, fun stage presence, chatting to the audience about whatever pops into her head, introducing one song, for example, with:

"I have two albums for sale over there and this song is off of one of them and it has a video --- faaancy! --- except not really, ha ha, because I made it myself, it's stop motion animation, you can see it on YouTube, okay, here's the song."

Much like her lyrics, rapidly and all in one breath. Yes, it could have been off-putting and made her seem ditzy, but her honest, unassuming delivery just made her seem friendly and, well, young and earnest.

Cello, how are you?

Later in the set, Tiger broke out the skinny electric cello that was propped in the corner, and played a very admirable cover of "These Boots Are Made for Walking" (though she's just a bit too young to really pull off the sultry-corny aspect of it) and her own "Machines," which sounded like it could have come from Kate Bush's early material.

Tiger's stage presence kind of reminded R of a young Rhett Miller, back when we'd see him developing his craft down in Deep Ellum when we were in high school, 24 years ago. Damn we're old, but dammit, we're old hipsters.  Important distinction!

A final note in the "talented-beyond-her-years" trope: on Tiger's second CD, she plays cello, bass, guitar, keyboards, mandolin, violin, ukelele, and tambourine, and did the producing and mixing herself.  Not too shabby for one of the Kids These Days.

In sum: The talent and energy coming from the stage was so palpable that from the first song we knew Tiger Darrow was someone to watch.  We each bought a CD after the show, and we both got our CD signed.  There's no question that Tiger is amazingly talented: with her personal lyrics, knockout voice, and her friendly, welcoming stage presence, if she keeps this up, there's no reason she shouldn't be huge.

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