After work today I got on my motorcycle and rode down to the main AU campus to see a free Dresden Dolls show. Billing themselves as ‘Brechtian Punk Cabaret,’ this duo combines powerful piano, passionate lyrics, and great drumwork with an ambience of a Weimar-era cabaret. White-faced minions mingled through the crowd passing out pinwheels and offering chocolates. The drummer, also with a white-painted face, wore a bowler, a red tie, and stocking under his shorts.
The opener, Jason Webley, had an angry accordion sound that was a hell of a lot better than you’d expect accordion music to be. Have a listen to an excerpt from The Drinking Song, a rousing ballad that we were all swaying and singing the chorus to:
When the glass is full,
Drink up! Drink up!
This maybe the last time
We see this cup.
If God wanted us sober,
He’d knock the glass over,
So while it is full we drink up!
When the Dolls came on I was blown away by the intensity of her voice and her playing. Husky and filled with passion, angry at times, sad an poignant at others, she is incredible. For contrast, check out Coin Operated Boy (Quicktime movie) and Girl Anachronism (Quicktime movie or mp3).
After the show, I bought two of Jason Webley’s CDs and two of the Dreden Dolls CDs. Amanda came out after the show to sign stuff. In her post-show The Who shirt and striped leggings, she still exuded a sexuality and intensity that made everyone else in the room seem flat in comparison.
The Dresden Dolls will be at the 9:30 Club on May 20. As your soon to be attorney, I advise you to go.