Friday, September 30, 2016

INGER LORRE LIVE- A Nymph Returns: 9.24.16 at The Redwood Bar&Grill, L.A.

For the first time since a brief spurt a year ago in Silverlake, Inger Lorre performed live at The Redwood Bar&Grill, downtown L.A. Sept. 24, 2016.  She sang selections from the distinctive canon of her popular Geffen-signed band of the 1980s/90s The Nymphs, abetted by new Nymph guitarist Morpheus Blak. Plus sang one Snowflake solo LP tune. Plus one Badfinger cover (!) as a sweet, in both senses of the word, birthday present to the club owner Bob Cantu. After another club cancellation the night before. Cue the nuns to warble "how do you solve a problem like Inger Lorre?" because she was and is absolutely one of a kind, well deserving to be seen and heard by new audiences in 2016 and beyond as well as by her many longtime fans.

It sucks to describe sui generis, albeit remaining your humble photojournalist's favorite cladistic category. Cautiously then, one must start with the voice, somewhat similar to the confident, clear and acrobatic strongholds of Bjork and Grace Slick, but with a built-in vulnerability the others lack, even if it's sort of a front for internalized anger. Or maybe the anger is a front for vulnerability, who knows, who cares, the voice remains great. And she tends to yodel notes up or downward, rather than resort to the two others' melismatic note extension. Unique, y'see.

Then we sort through the songwriting, decadent, enchanting, expressive, troubled, precise, all of its own kind..."Sad And Damned"..."Death Of A Scenester..." "Wasting My Days..."(not in the set.)  And the unexpected delivery, as on that Geffen debut LP with (not in the set) "'d probably kiss the hand that slits your throat!" hissed as viciously as if she herself did the deed. Then back to the minor key girl soprano reflective stuff, seamlessly.

Below, plumage has loomed large in the legend. Whereas she once performed in see-through mesh (see LINK) with large feather fans worthy of Sally Rand and wild feather headdresses to stoke the envy of Las Vegas showgirls, this evening showcased her personal millinery talents with a self-made chapeau of rather extravagant pheasant feathers. A dress bedecked with a pattern of The Little Mermaid characters seemed utterly apropos to the Redwood's nautical decor.

Then we wade through the reputation. As Nymphs' lead singer/songwriter Inger Lorre also was known for costuming extravaganzas (see above); being a powerful vocalist to a great but unclassifiable band The Nymphs (Gothmetal? Trancepunk? Siouxsie Sioux meets Led Zeppelin? Marianne Faithfull ambushes Soundgarden? Rodan versus Megalon?); and that infamous episode with their recalcitrant A&R Director, which she addressed by peeing on his desk in front of him. And other pre-rehab problems, now happily banished...

But it all comes down to the return of a worthy, engaging artist, reason enough to rejoice. Speaking (or rather writing) of Ms. Faithfull, I very much want to see Inger Lorre have a Marianne Faithful-type-revival career: bad old days long past, beautiful artist with absolutely distinctive voice and fascinating material, finally appreciated. Her live set proves she's ready, capable and willing. And very kind to share her personal demons/inner world as performance art in song. This is a right now set by a true original who prefers the tightrope wire of pure emotion, even if it has proven dangerous to all concerned...


The Blackerbys 
opened with 
rousing rock 
drive, cool 
and a singing


Anonymous said...

Beautiful photographs of a beautiful (and obviously talented) woman. Regards, ALC

Anonymous said...

Beautiful photographs of a beautiful (and obviously talented) woman. Regards, ALC

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