On January 2nd, Joe's Pub was host to an incredible night of music. Aputumpu and Lynette Williams founded This is Not The Radio put together a stellar line up of singers and musicians who really brought the meaning of art and creativity to the patrons of Joe's Pub.
|Akie Bermiss enchants Joe's Pub|
The night started with the amazing Akie Bermiss whose original piece really lulled the crowd into an almost hypnotic trance- in a good way. There was something very soothing about his voice and playing, making him a pleasure to listen to.
Arthur Lewis took the stage next, really striking me with his strong voice and charismatic stage presence. His quiet entrance onto the stage really led me to believe that he would be more of subdued singer song writer, but his music and laster interaction with the crowd shocked me. He was lively and fun, but didn't let it take away from his soulful sound.
Grace Weber had a huge voice and stage presence. She interacted with the crowd and seemed at home on that stage. She had an almost Ian Curtis feel to her motions, but without the somber and melancholic sadness that seemed to pervade all of Joy Division's work. Her voice is incredible and fills the room, and she has the ability to change up her vocals and use her voice as an instrument. What really struck me was the fact, though her music was quite sad, there was an air of hopefulness to it that allowed it to float and gave the listener room to breathe. There was nothing suffocating about her sound, particularly her very New Orleans sounding song, "Oil and Gold," which could have drowned the listener in metaphor and pain. Instead, there was a buoyancy to it that really stirred the crowd up.
Lynette Williams gave an impromptu performance and it was nothing short of stellar. She has such a deep and soulful voice that makes everyone in the room feel the emotions that were planted in her songs. Though she both her entrance and exit were quiet and understated, there was nothing understated or small about her presence. She owned that stage for the short time she was on it and left everyone with an unforgettable performance.
KJ Denhert flew in from her tour in Italy just for this performance at Joe's Pub and she didn't disappoint. Everything about her performance was big and impressive and it made the audience both laugh and fall into somber reflection. She transmitted to the crowd a wide array of emotions that really brought everyone on a short, three song roller coaster. It was nothing short of stunning and the perfect closer for the night.
|The String Quarter: The Unsung Heroes of the Night|
The real highlight for me was the fantastic string quartet. These unbelievable performers accompanied each performer with beautiful arrangements that evoked an astounding amount of emotion. Their talent really shone in between each performance when they improvised arrangements based off their reactions to the works the artists performed. Their music, particularly their arrangements after Akie Bermiss and Joe Daniels were my favorites.
The entire night was nothing short of inspiring. It was wonderful to see a collection of such fine musicians and artists together, performing for the love of an art that seems to be becoming more and more commoditized and pigeon holed as time goes on. These artists are really pushing an idea that seems to be withering in this money driven business- the art of creating something beautiful that might not make the most money.
This is Not The Radio will be hosting another performance Sunday, January 18th, at Rockwood Music Hall. For more information check out the event's Facebook page. The group is really doing wonderful things for artists who might not fit the mainstream bill, bringing good music back to a city that used to be the center of music.