B-Boy Limping

Eleni Mandell at Joe’s Pub
March 6, 2009, 7:32 pm
Filed under: Music | Tags: , ,

Eleni Mandell’s music can be described a lot of ways: nostalgic,  dark, sultry, and wicked being among them. But with the stylistic departure in her new album Artificial Fire I had to add another adjective that I never really considered her to be before: pop. Not that being pop is a bad thing: her tour’s kickoff show at Joe’s Pub last night was filled to standing room only and, while the sound is shiny, it’s complex and riotous thanks in part to her backing band.


Mandell’s  understated yet omnipresent sexuality owned the stage, with experience displayed as she slipped easily into the role of  storyteller of stolen kisses and love lost. But she isn’t a doomsayer. Rather, Mandell finds the romance in the rubble, and turns failed connections into lessons. “One time I really liked a boy and I tried to kiss him, and he went like this,” she said, leaning away from the mic to illustrate his disdain. “It was a really terrifying moment in my life, and I survived.”

Yeah, but that kid’s probably kicking himself now.

For a taste of what Eleni Mandell’s  about, here’s an old  performance of “Pauline” off her album Thrill. She played it last night as the encore:


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