Michael Buckner | Frazer Harrison, Getty Images Now this is a collaboration that…
- Posted on Jan 14th 2010 1:30PM by Kenneth Partridge
On the one hand, the seemingly simple query had served to demystify the St. Louis-born singer. Young may have been wearing a black pleather pirate-biker-spacewoman jacket, superhero eye mask and fingerless gold-lame gloves, but she was grounded enough to know the day of the week. In her world, as in ours, it was Wednesday, and that, somehow, was comforting.
Of course, the way she emphasized "you" -- as in, "you, the less fabulous ones that have to wake up in six or seven hours and go to work" -- underlined a point made over and over again by her frenzied, high-drama piano-pop songs: Kristeen Young is not like the rest of us.
Backed by drummer "Baby" Jef White, a first-rate basher resplendent in 'A Clockwork Orange' suspenders and bowler, Young gushed personality. With theatrical arm waves and foot stomps, she stormed through a dozen tunes, many from her latest album, 'Music for Strippers, Hookers and the Odd On-Looker.'
From the opening 'Stop Thinking,' Young's songs were twisty, relentless and epic. As White muscled through fill after fill, sometimes adding live beats to pre-recorded ones blasting from his partner's keyboard rig, Young pounded hard on the keys, mixing deep, rolling chords with choppy, high-pitched accents.
While Young's effects-laden piano exploded sound, she let out quivering operatic bellows and dolphin-like falsettos, two of the sounds that fall within her four-octave range. Her jet-black hair -- piled high, not unlike the coif of onetime tour partner Morrissey -- shook as she sang, her pained lyrics rendering things all the more theatrical.
"This is our last song," Young announced before playing 'Comfort Is Never a Goal,' to which one brave fan replied, "No, it's not."
"Yes, it absolutely is," Young said, her tone slightly more severe than it had been seconds earlier. She proceeded to burn through the kind of song Ally Sheedy's 'Breakfast Club' character might have heard on a constant loop in her head, then left the stage. True to her word, she didn't return for an encore.