I and less than a hundred other people saw the Azure Ray show at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn last Sunday night. Going in I felt a little like I was going to a chick flick with my match.com date, but I got a drink and took my place by the merch table (there where Azure Ray corkscrews and friendship bracelets). I was sent to review Azure Ray, but I feel the need to mention the two opening acts.
First, James Husband: singer-songwriter, guitar, voice, and cello. His voice sounded just like Jeff Tweedy’s. He was doing his clever—too good for the café—songs not without charm, and although the cello added some cheese, it implied an "I Am the Walrus" vibe.
Second, Tim Fite: a talented performer. He played to production tracks and had a projector show featuring himself accompanying himself with guitar and backup vocals. His show also included rapping, yodeling, and a glowing boom box. I could see him playing with Pleaseeasaur. A fun set, I recommend.
Then came the headliner: Azure Ray. The two ladies played with a drummer (James Husband), a cellist, and a lead guitar player. They seemed to be conserving energy, given it was week five of their tour and a Sunday. Their set was predictable and weak. I think partly due to them phoning it in and partly to their material. It feels like it was made for the end credits of TV dramas. The best part for me was that they both were wearing guitars, and one is left-handed, which creates a nice mirror image effect. I would say "cut the fat," but all you would be left with is a snail’s worth to slime across your dashboard as you drive to your office job or singles bingo. The fact remains there is a market for this stuff—a market that Azure Ray fills to the brim, like a lukewarm mug of Ovaltine.
Words by Cedar Apffel