Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsFixme

Pop Music Review : Moody Folk From Smith

October 04, 1994|LORRAINE ALI

"It's nice to be using electricity and playing for people instead of chickens," said Kendra Smith during her show at McCabe's on Sunday. Smith, who went into backwoods seclusion seven years ago, was the original bassist for early-'80s L.A. rock band the Dream Syndicate, and she preceded Hope Sandoval in the group that would become Mazzy Star, so Sunday's show--her first-ever solo appearance here--was a highly anticipated homecoming.

No one really knew what to expect of Smith, who now lives in a remote area of Northern California with no phone or electricity. But the thin singer delivered hypnotically moody, surreal numbers with a folky but foreboding edge.

Smith sang of villagers, wishing wells and silk while slapping a drum or playing minimal guitar. She also coaxed sober carnival tones and dark, ancient drones from an old pump organ while an accompanist hit chimes, plucked a bass or played stand-up drums. Smith's more intense vocal moments rang of early Grace Slick, but she also sounded like a sultry beat poet while snapping her fingers to a number by the German experimental band Can.

Capped by Lisa Germano's gut-wrenching set, the show marked an intense, compelling conclusion to 4AD Records' six-night "All Virgos Are Mad" festival.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|