Asobi Seksu and Bell @ The Troubadour, 3/14/09
Walking in at the Troubadour that night was like walking into a magic forest glade. I half expected to see sparkling nymphs in gauzy outfits leaping around from behind the concert goers, cackling merrily as they played tag. Perhaps if there had been any absinthe in the place that would be exactly what I saw. Brooklyn's electro pop piece Bell was on stage spreading their musical glitter all over the Troubadour making it sparkle and shine.
Front woman, Olga Bell, looked radiant in a tiger striped blouse and asymmetrical haircut. She stood in front of her synthesizer and held court like some sort of fairy queen. The other members of her outfit were both drummers that sat on either side of her like royal guards. It almost seemed as if she had picked her drummers to match their sets. The traditional set was manned by a very clean cut man in a polo shirt and glasses who contrasted starkly with his partner on the other side who played an electric kit and had wild flowing hair and tight jeans.
The echoing effect from the microphone garbled any lyrics we might have gleaned from the song, but I have a sneaky suspicion that they weren't all that important. Olga threw her voice against the beats that surrounded her like a jazz singer, so that it became just another instrument in the piece. While I watched her perform it suddenly struck me...I had seen this performance before. She was doing her best Bjork impression, and it wasn't half bad. Except that Bell is not willing to take the big scary risks that Bjork does, but perhaps on the next album they will probe further past the pretty and into the darker, scarier unknown.