Night Music: Warpaint, “Keep It Healthy”

I read about this band last year, and listened to some cuts at the time. Great name!

They played in the park by my house a few days ago, so I went to see them. I like girl bands. I’m looking forward to the day where we don’t notice a band is all girls, and I like watching videos of girls in bands acting goofy more than I like watching guys in bands acting goofy. Usually, though of course it depends.

The Beatles acting goofy almost always wins. REM, not so much.

But here’s the thing about Warpaint live on this night, they were ragged. On some songs the drums and bass were solid and strong, but the vocals and guitars and the whole shape of the song would shift, let’s say meander, toward the end.

I wasn’t going to write about them, but then today in the Times Jon Pareles did. He’s into them. He dropped a few clues about how sloppy they are, but he treated them like established artists. And, to his credit, put them in the lineage of Siouxsie Sioux and some other ladies bands of the 70s to 80s transition.

The band he didn’t mention that seems to pertain most is the Slits. The Warpaint studio recordings are fairly tight, but meandering. The live show was meandering and not tight at all. That’s a big difference. Let’s fix these guys up with Dennis Bovell and see what happens. But for now the name outstrips the tunes.

And still, I’m hearing this one in my head. Good night.

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