Saturday, March 01, 2008
Photo by Lou O'Bedlam
Sincerity is hard to come by in Echo Park, especially at night. Drive by the Echo any Friday, and you’re bound to see a dozen idiots with tight jeans, mullets, and Loverboy headbands; Bad outfits to convey irony, where the intent is actually to conform. So when I read that Queen Kwong was performing at the Echo Curio, I was a little skeptical.
The Echo Curio is on Sunset, a ten-minute walk from my house. I got there around 10pm, right at the end of Daniel Ahearn's set. I made my way to the back of the room packed with people, home-made décor, and various items on consignment. I had hoped to find a spot near some circuit-bent music gear (at the shop the last time I checked), but instead found myself near some used books (such as Helter Skelter) and DVDs (such as The Cult Life).
Queen Kwong – AKA Carre Callaway – and her support quickly got in front of the crowd as a group of her friends walked out of the back room of the shop. Some of the friends carried paper cat masks on Popsicle sticks that she had made before the show. She wanted them to hold the masks up in front of their faces as she played. I figured this was to distance herself; it would be easier to sing candid lyrics to a front row of friends that way...one of them told me later that she just really loved cats. Supported by a bassist and keyboardist (who also wore cat masks), Queen Kwong opened up with “Eddie the Kid”, a wall of sound powered by a Fender Mustang.
Barring a couple of deviations into other arrangements, Queen Kwong’s sound is a soft voice against texture. The contrast heightens the stark, direct nature of her singing style. I really enjoyed the set; my only criticism is that it was too short.
Buy Queen Kwong's MP3 EP Love Is A Bruise at Amazon.
Read my other Music Performance Posts:
CSS & Natalie Portman's Shaved Head at The Echoplex.
Meat Beat Manifesto at The Knitting Factory.