Curtain - Scotty's Jazz & Cigars
Saturday, February 15th 2003
the first time since last summer, the wonderful Torn Curtain
treated Erie music fans to a rare show and to a taste of the
surreal, all within the cozy confines of Scotty’s Cigar
Bar. Cigar smoke filled the air and martinis were the drink of
choice as the wonderful duo (and sometimes trio…more on
that later) meandered dreamily through a set of moody pop.
The haze and din of conversation in the packed bar made for the perfect setting
for Torn Curtain. If you missed Torn Curtain this time, shame on you, cause
it could be months before you see them again, or if you haven’t experienced
them before, think about your favorite David Lynch film, now put a house band
in it and voila, there’s Torn Curtain.
Singer Alethea Bodine, one of the strongest front persons in Erie, absolutely
captivated the audience with her lush, soulful voice, her theatrical and trance
like movements gliding from the comical to the tragic, and grace and elegance.
She not only commands the audience’s attention, but also beguiles them;
no more like captures them for a trippy journey to both happy and dark places.
Try to take your eyes off her while they perform!
The music, centered around strange industrial loops, that sound like metal
on metal or raspy machinery, and Rick Dibello’s tasteful minimalist approach
to the guitar make for the perfect backdrop. It is refreshing to see a guitar
player use minimal effects (no distortion) and still cut through with such
authority. Bass player extraordinaire Rob Vance (of many Erie projects), joined
Torn Curtain for about a third of each of their three sets, and sampled bass
lines make up the rest.
Highlights of the set included an absolutely brilliant interpretation of Thelonius
Monk’s Round Midnight, the showstopper, Time (Tom Waits), and originals
Heavens Keys and Get Closer. This is one of the rare bands that it seems no
matter what song they are playing (covers range from the Pretenders to ABC-yes
the 80’s band-to jazz standards) it sounds like Torn Curtain are not
far from the almighty Portishead (amen), Torn Curtain has mastered the art
of meandering, dreamy, electronic pop.
So Torn Curtain, how bout’ a new CD and some more shows?- photo by Kate
McDevitt, review by John Johnston.