Ilya S. Savenok, Getty Images The sad news came across late Wednesday afternoon…
- Posted on Jan 27th 2010 12:00PM by Kenneth Partridge
Decked out in a kind of winged leopard-print jacket, hot-pink tights and yellow Doc Martens, Bones mixed a handful of tunes from her forthcoming debut, 'Bone of My Bones,' with two seemingly incongruous covers: the Stooges' 'I Wanna Be Your Dog' and Pink Floyd's 'Another Brick in the Wall.'
All around her, crazily dressed band mates -- a 'Pirates of the Caribbean' guitarist, two 'Alice in Wonderland' backing vocalist-dancers and a keyboardist whose sky-blue suit was speckled with what the great painter Bob Ross would have called "happy little clouds," among them -- bopped along with her hyper-aerobic dash-of-everything dance-pop.
At times, it was like watching a sugar-addled toddler -- one with access to bass synths, saxophones, and a sewing machine -- put on the greatest show the stuffed animals in her bedroom have ever seen.
Bones hails from London, but she's been playing regularly in the United States for a couple of years, building buzz for an album that, for one reason or another, has been out since the summer in Japan but has yet to drop on either side of the Atlantic.
Tuesday's audience must have been made up of either illegal downloaders or faithful visitors to Bones' MySpace page, as fans sang along with nearly every tune. The singer was having some trouble with her vocal monitors, and while she managed to stay on key, her inability to hear herself properly may have led to the porpoise-like yodels she nicked from one of her heroes, Slits singer Ari Up.
On record, Bones' music is busy, exuberant, and lots of fun. Live, it's all of those things, too, only far looser and less precise. With its stitched-together dance-punk drums and violins, standout 'The Muzik' recalled that space-disco number heard in Jabba's palace at the beginning of 'Return of the Jedi.' During the charmingly titled 'Don't Fart on My Heart,' some fans blew whistles, their shrill exhalations giving the tune its umpteenth sonic layer.
Bones is often compared to M.I.A. and Karen O, but she's less intimidating and enigmatic than those artists. When she's onstage, she's not afraid to smile and let her enthusiasm shine through. Many years and one name change ago, Bones got her start as a child actor. Now that she's switched to music, she's done playing characters.