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.
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.
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
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.
- I’m guessing to protect the designs of the artists [↩]
- 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. [↩]
- Off Grenadine Records, the same label as The “orchestral pop noir romantique” Dears [↩]
- 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 [↩]