Torn Curtain - Scotty's Jazz & Cigars
Saturday, February 15th

For 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.