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Leda's Wake / Vivid / Velvet Chain, Fais Do-Do, Los Angeles, 4/4/98

First off, a word about the club (pronounced "fay doh-doh", or "go to sleep" as the French would say if they spoke English) - what a bargain! A swank neo-gothic-esque decor, a low $6 cover, a swell simple cajun menu with nothing over $7, and a nice selection of beers (beer/wine the only selections in the alcohol department). How can you lose? The only drawback to the club tonight was the fact that it was *freezing* because of cold air blowing in through the front and side doors, but I'm going to bet that the club has little control over the weather.

Leda's Wake - Way back when, the king of the gods, Zeus, was so taken by a certain cute Greek chica named Leda that he took the form of a swan and seduced her. As the story goes, shortly thereafter Leda laid 2 eggs. Lessons to learn here include that 1) the Greeks had a reasonably poor understanding of reproduction and 2) if a swan tries to put the moves on you, please realize that something is seriously amiss. So anyhow, one of the eggs hatched and out popped Helen, the most beautiful woman of classical times, over whom the Trojan War was fought. So what does this have to do with the band? Um, I'm not sure. I just thought I'd share. Actually, I just wasn't all that taken with them - I think mostly because the guitar and bass way overdroned the lead singer, and also made it difficult to focus on my red beans and rice. Oh, and I'm clearly no lyricist, but I would generally think you might want to avoid the phrase "it's not hard to breastfeed yourself", or perhaps enunciate better if your actual lyrics could easily be mistaken for that.

Vivid - Vivid took the stage and women swooned. Now y'all cut that out! They're more than just hot bods on stage - they're funky too. Love them for the funk and not just for their looks! OK, now that we've got that out of the way...these guys had so much darn energy, and spread the funk so heavy I couldn't believe that folks didn't get up and shake their collective booty. There's always next time...I think Vivid should also win the award for best choreographed moves onstage, with the bassist and guitarist doing these great synched dance moves. Hot damn!

Velvet Chain - What is it about Velvet Chain that they just keep getting better and better each time I see them? Their sound gets huger and huger - "Treason" just gives me more and more goosebumps as it Erika Amato's voice swings from the delicate to the dangerously sultry, the fat bass of "Come to Me" expands to trecherously enormous volumes, and "Frenchie" goes farther and farther down the road toward techno / electronica as the guitar line delves ever farther into the abstract and the drum / keyboard mix drive an ever more powerful rhythm. (Incidently, "Frenchie" continues to prove that you can get a lot of mileage from a single answering machine message, which is what the lyrics on the recorded version actually are.) Look, to save myself the embarrassment of completely gushing about them yet again, just go see them, and then we can all be part of the club. Along those lines, tonight's show also marked the debut of "Richard's Moneyback Guarantee" on Velvet Chain, which is pretty simple really: if you don't like the show, I'll buy your ticket. With a deal like that, how can you lose?

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