January 7, 2007

live white magic

white magic played mercury lounge thursday, january 4....they were fantastic.
lead singer and keyboardist mira bilotte and guitarist doug shaw opened up the show with katie cruel, a song that folk-singer karen dalton recorded in 1971. the version white magic performed was sparse, and bilotte's voice was right on. her voice reminds me of grace slick, especially during the great society days. the music that followed katie cruel was more dense, rocking, and showcased the intricate powers of white magic the band. doug shaw is an obvious super strong creative force along with ms. biotte, and his singing and playing definitely hold their own. then there is the force of bassist brad traux who totally rocks and reminded me a bit of a young jorma kaukonen. mostly though, i couldn't keep my eyes off drummer jim white, who single-handledly pulled the entire outfit together with his nuanced and excellent drumming. white was always looking back and forth between lead singer and guitar and bass, he never once failed to move the band through their songs in unpredictable yet fluid patterns. i've been listening a lot to 'dat rosa mel apibus*' on drag city records, and was totally excited to have caught them on stage.

*see interesting link for symbolic notions / commentary about the painting, "the rose gives the bees honey" by John Eberly

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