Thursday, April 26, 2012

keep shelly in athens, live at dc9, washington, d.c., 4/24/2012

Normally, anymore I tend to avoid going out to concerts on weeknights, unless it happens to be someone whose music I really like, or if they're a band who are from far far away and most likely won't be coming around to my neck of the woods anytime again soon. Grecian duo Keep Shelly In Athens happened to qualify for all of the above, and despite being tired from work and deciding to take the Metro and getting off about twenty blocks too soon, this band was well worth it. Performing live, as a four piece outfit, with guitar and drums, I wasn't too sure what to expect, knowing they might sound different from the original songs I've recently grown to know and love. However, as more of a rock outfit, the guitars and drums were superb sounding, even enhancing some of the original songs when played out live, while the electronic, sampledelic element was still present, alive and well. The singer, whose name I'm still not sure of (they're quite mysterious that way) did a real nice job singing both with and without the ethereal effects (not to be confused with the awful Autotune that so many pop singers use to "enhance" their weak voices). Either way, she certainly held her own up there, casually dancing and twrilling around on stage along with the music.

Keep Shelly in Athens' set opened up with a sweet, shoegazey version of instrumental "In Love With Dusk", with only the guitarist, drummer and electronic guys on stage. Next, the singer walked on stage as soon as they started into the popular "Hauntin' Me". I was so glad to hear a good mix of both newer songs, like "Our Own Dream", "the Chains", "DIY" (which was a highlight!), "Fairytale" and the St. Etienne-esque "Lazy Noon" mingle with earlier ones like "Cremona Memories" "Running Out of You" and "Fokionos Negri Street", the latter of which the singer came down into the audience (right next to me, nice!) and hung out, as the band played onstage. I was glad to take that opportunity to shake her hand and thank her for the great music and for coming out our way to play. She was such a humble, gracious and friendly individual. Some good ones we didn't get to hear included "Tear in My I" and "Don't Be Afraid", which might not have translated so well live anyhow. Luckily, we were treated to an excellent cover of The Jesus and Mary Chain's "Just Like Honey", which ended the band's set and can be found on the "Just Like Honey" breast cancer fundraiser CD compilation. Fortunately, the band played to a warm, receptive audience at D.C.'s intimate DC9 venue, and stuck around for a two song encore, which included their remix of Porcelain Raft's "Tip of Your Tongue". 

Despite it being a weeknight and my Metro mishap (and a very slooow Metro, due to a derailment!), it was a beautiful night fit for some beautiful music. I hope more people wake up to the sounds of Keep Shelly In Athens,  one of the best things happening in music right now, and once again, it would be nice to see a full LP out soon, including all of their previous songs (and a bonus remix disc, since they've been hugely in demand for remixing other bands' music this past year). Don't miss 'em if they head to your town. In the meantime, below are a few more samples from the band I've never posted here yet, including "Lazy Noon", "DIY" and "Fairytale". Enjoy!

UPDATE: New info/KSIA interview as of May, 2012 from Under The Radar. CHECK IT.