Have you ever gone to a show, and looked around to see that the audience is 99% female? Have you ever then looked around and realized that a too-high-for-coincidence percentage of them are wearing combat boots, or sporting either edgy overstyled hair in varying degrees of not meant to be flattering or long wild unbrushed hair? Have you ever looked around the audience full of girls at a show and thought to yourself “Here are all the girls my younger self wanted to meet in junior high!” ? Have you ever looked around the crowd at a show and had the epiphany “Oh.. this is music for weird chicks.. no wonder I was the only person I know who was excited about it.”? Well, I have this experience at about 75% of the shows that I pick out myself, not as part of a group effort.
And so, when I tried to round up friends to see Tamaryn at Dada and only got two takers, I was pretty sure that I’d get there and realize that once again, I’d brought Thom to an OddGirl Power fest. Actually, it turned out to be the opposite. The fans were overwhelmingly dudes, and I’m not going to say they were ALL weird.. but that’s only because I’m trying to err on the side of politeness. (You may wonder why I unabashedly called the aforementioned girls weird without concern for politeness.. that would be because I am assuming they wear the title as a badge of honor.) There was Mr. Shortpants with a knife on his belt who seemed determined to get in front of my camera no matter where I was.. the center-stage Johnnies who kept pushing the monitor and uncomfortably reaching out to touch Tamaryn.. the tank top wearing little dude who danced like a wind up doll.. I could go on. At any rate, I was expecting an ever slightly more Tori Amos and Medicine listening crowd, but no matter. Openers were Nervous Curtains from Dallas (I believe) and Boy Friend of Austin. Nervous Curtains was “not my bag” so I won’t say much about them. They struck me as sort of an 80’s period piece.. I could see them playing at a prom that Molly Ringwald went to.
Boy Friend, on the other hand, I found very worth seeing. The first song or so they played I wasn’t that impressed; initially I thought that I’d file them under “has potential, needs a producer”. The first song seemed a bit meandering. But about the third song it seemed as if their rhythm suddenly tightened up, and all of the sudden the realization that they were really pretty good grabbed me. The rest of the set kept my attention.
Tamaryn came out doing the stoic cool badass routine and launched straight into the music without any awkward talk. Unfortunately an electrical problem killed all sound in the middle of the song. That’s hard to recover from, especially when you’ve already committed to the stoic cool badass routine. But the problem was resolved, and they picked back up on the next song. Tamaryn maintained the badass aloofness through out the show, singing with her hair all but covering her face most of the set. She played in boots, black hose, a white corset or girdle of some sort, and a baggy black button shirt that I kept thinking was going to come off but never did. The quality was there in the band as well , something that I hadn’t confidently expected but had optimistically hoped for.
At the end of the set, aloof act aside, Tamaryn staffed her own merch booth. I picked up the (blue!) vinyl of Tender New Signs, and had her sign it with the item most resembling a writing utensil in my possession – a Stila lipstick. I was thinking that I’d probably end up with a ruined $25 lipstick, but thanks, Tamaryn, for not using too much pressure and still leaving some useable in the tube.
Measures of Success:
Overall Experience: 9/10 Whiskeys.
Quality of sound: 7/10 Whiskeys. Unfortunately sound quality lacks fairly often at Dada. Its never awful, but its frequently less than awesome.
Showmanship: 8/10 Whiskeys for Tamaryn; 6/10 for Boy Friend. Although I’d rate them higher had I missed the first two songs, they generally looked on stage much like your average local band.
Worth paying to see: 10/10 Whiskeys. One of the best under $20 shows I’ve seen for awhile.
Did the Look Match the Sound: Yes for Tamaryn; basically for Boy Friend although I don’t know that I’d say they had a cohesive look, it wasn’t jarring when compared to thier sound.
The crowd was… overwhelmingly a sausage fest. Most of the dudes were odd in inconsistent ways.
Actual Whiskeys Consumed: Actually.. I think I only had one beer. That’s usually a sign that I was absorbed in the show.