Facebook R&B crooner Mario has been relatively quiet on the music front for…
- Posted on Nov 21st 2009 11:00AM by Liz Colville
Garbus was making a pit stop between her opening sets for the Dirty Projectors' sold-out four-night stint in New York, which concludes tonight and Sunday night.
The multi-instrumentalist, who is sometimes joined by bass player Nate Brenner, proved she needed no accompaniment Friday, commanding percussion, vocals and strings on her own.
The small store was packed with New Yorkers clued in to the free performance, which drew from her debut, 'BiRd-BrAiNs.' The album was self-released using a pay-as-you-wish model in 2008, but was snatched up by 4AD, home to the likes of Deerhunter and Efterklang, this year.
The recordings, filtered through free computer software Audacity from a digital voice recorder, retain their DIY feel onstage. Garbus belts out complex little vocal lines that can sound raspy and strong or quiet and feathery. She loops them, weaves them together, adds forceful but simple drum lines and often a ukelele. But she tends to halt everything mid-song for a few bars of stunning a capella, borrowing as much from R&B as from island, reggae and early folk music.
Mid-set, Garbus joked about the alternate caps in her name, saying she used it as a way to stand out on MySpace when she first joined the site in 2004. She also called it a challenge to fans and critics to "slow down," because it takes longer to write, but added that if the audience wanted to tweet about the show to friends, they should feel free to skip the fancy punctuation.
For her final song, 'Do You Want To Live?,' Garbus bridged the small gap between herself and the audience. Belting out the words of the title, the crowd, which reportedly does this every time Garbus performs the song, answered heartily -- and as many times as she asked -- "Yeah!"