An Evening with Krista and Shane

Thumbnail: Krista Muir and Shane Watt perform together wide

As pre­dicted, I left my house feel­ing ner­vous and excited, and put on my Top Rated playlist to dis­tract myself. The music of Lederhosen Lucil has never touched me on a deeply inti­mate level, the way, say, a Leonard Cohen or Thrice song does, but it’s still remained very per­sonal. I dis­cov­ered L.L. at a time when I was feel­ing rather jaded from life. The music was silly, fun, and con­fi­dent, so I embraced it with delight­ful hedo­nism. It lifted me when I was in a strange state of numb­ness and limbo.

Thumbnail: Krista Muir and Shane Watt get ready to perform 
Thumbnail: Shane's North Korean guitar 
Thumbnail: Lederhosen Lucil swag 

I got there at what turned out to be an hour and a half early (though it was due to a mis­take on the venue web­site), so I wan­dered the store until the show started, feel­ing like a fish out of water in a tiny room filled with hand­made women’s cloth­ing and jew­el­ery. Though beau­ti­ful and impres­sively unique, they wouldn’t let me take pic­tures of any­thing1.

As soon as I saw Krista alone, I began to hyper­ven­ti­late, which was rather unex­pected (I’m still get­ting over how hilar­i­ously embar­rass­ing this was). I approached her and man­aged to spit out “Hi” in a whis­per. I didn’t know what to say, so I just asked her to sign my CD (still whis­per­ing, unable to con­trol the vol­ume of my voice). I’m sure I’ll appre­ci­ate such a reac­tion in a cou­ple years, as not many peo­ple can cause me to be so flus­tered2.

After some­what regain­ing my com­po­sure, we spoke. I asked her why she now per­formed as Krista Muir instead of Lederhosen Lucil, and she told me it was both an evo­lu­tion and a change, although the L.L. isn’t gone yet. She gave me some more insight into her lyrics, told me about her past sugar addic­tion, and shared some details about upcom­ing project, which I prob­a­bly shouldn’t reveal. I also found out that her col­lab­o­ra­tion with Shane was solid­i­fied with his will­ing­ness to wear silly cos­tumes — of which she sewed her­self — for the L.L. shows.

Thumbnail: Krista Muir and Shane Watt perform together 
Thumbnail: Krista Muir with ukelele 
Thumbnail: Shane Watt with guitar 
Thumbnail: Krista Muir on her exotic instrument 
Thumbnail: Shane Watt on guitar 
Thumbnail: Krista Muir and Shane Watt performing live 

Amongst the hand­bags and the bibs, the jew­el­ery and the under­wear, the show began.

Shane opened with Where We Are Now, as well as a few other songs from his debut solo album3. It was so cap­ti­vat­ing (You can hear it on Shane’s MySpace) that I had to pur­chase an early copy of his CD, to be released in the new year. He promised to send me an offi­cial copy when it comes out, along with an acoustic ver­sion, as I com­mented on how great it sounded with just him and a guitar.

Several tracks off Krista’s lat­est album, Leave Alight, were per­formed. This is a clip of La Grenade, track six, and my favourite song on it so far.

Outside, the rain began to pour, and filled the place with a refresh­ing breeze. Even in a thick hoodie wrapped over my shirt, I was com­fort­ably cozy amongst those who could appre­ci­ate the indie mix­ture of a ukulele, a gui­tar, a melody and a har­mony. During the inter­mis­sion, it was home­made cup­cakes and sweet­ened tea. I had a chance to speak more with Krista and Shane, before Krista (who kept check­ing my watch) decided it was time to start play­ing again.

A few songs fea­tured Krista on a funky elec­tric instru­ment, of which I for­get the name, but it added a very won­der­fully rich sound to the min­i­mal, folky acoustics (which can be heard in the last video). It’s seemed like more of a gui­tar than a piano; there’s a touch-strip that can be “strummed” at dif­fer­ent speeds — like a pitch ben­der on a key­board — while cer­tain but­tons are held for the notes.

It was an inti­mate night, casual and light-hearted. At one point, Shane started kick­ing his amp because it was hum­ming like a pos­sessed appa­ra­tus. Before the show ended, Krista included cov­ers of It’s Gonna Be (Alright) by Ween, and Another Love Song by Queens of the Stone Age.

My brain was buzzing when I left. I don’t go to shows any­more cause I don’t like the scene4, but this was some­thing else. Waiting at the bus stop, I couldn’t help but pace back and forth, filled with an elec­tric energy. While much more calm and sub­dued than I expected, the music was touch­ing all the same. It felt like I was part of some­thing spe­cial, and a show I’ll never forget.

Other shows with Krista Muir and Shane Watt

  1. At the Workshop Studio & Boutique
  2. At Le Petit Salon des Arts
  3. At Irene’s Pub

Photography notes: There was no way I could hand-hold my cam­era under such low light con­di­tions, so I tried using my flash in man­ual for the first time. Even when using the flash, I kept the ISO at 1600 to cap­ture as much ambi­ent light as pos­si­ble. It came out pretty well — the flower lights wrapped around the micro­phone stand aren’t washed out.

This was the per­fect place to do this sort of thing: a low ceil­ing on which to bounce the flash and no tall peo­ple block­ing my view. I couldn’t have got­ten these shots at any other venue in the city. The hang­ing gar­ments did prove to be tricky in fram­ing, but over­all, I’m happy with the results.

  1. I’m guess­ing to pro­tect the designs of the artists []
  2. Perhaps it was the strange feel­ing that Krista, who was now sud­denly in front of me, had so unwit­tingly affected me, with­out ever even being aware of my exis­tence. Or per­haps I was intim­i­dated. I like to con­sider myself a cre­ative per­son, but by no means a pro­fes­sional, earn­ing a liv­ing off my cre­ativ­ity. Krista is, how­ever, a born enter­tainer. []
  3. Off Grenadine Records, the same label as The “orches­tral pop noir roman­tique” Dears []
  4. Exceptions are about half a dozen bands — Blonde Redhead, Dreamtheater, Portishead, Thrice, The Mars Volta, The Dwarves, etc. — for whom I’d brave any­thing too see live []

7 comments

  1. 1600 ISO!?!?
    I am sur­prised that it isn’t grainy.

  2. Nice pic­tures! You weren’t kid­ding about it being a small venue…I

  3. @Causalien — There’s two things you can use to keep noise at a min­i­mum when using high ISO. One is to expose to the right. That way, you can lower the expo­sure when deal­ing with the RAW file, which won’t increase noise. If you did it the other way around and exposed to the left, increas­ing the expo­sure would make the image explode in noise. The other thing is to use noise reduc­tion soft­ware, like Noise Ninja or Neat Image Pro, which can reduce noise with min­i­mal loss of quality.

    @Sophia — Thanks! And the size was per­fect for the num­ber of peo­ple. Did your com­ment get cut off?

  4. Erm.. no.. I’m not sure what hap­pened there lol. Maybe I had a thought and then stopped it after the “I” heheh.

  5. Avast me hearty! Sounds as good of party as any swash­buck­ler might buckle under. Sea chanties and mateys. That’s the life!

  6. And a good TLAPD to you too, matey! Arrrrr!!

    The Flickr photo is hilar­i­ous!

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