by Moses Namkung
Comedic Bay Area-specific commentary at the Independent on Friday night:
"San Francisco!", Bell lead singer Olga Bell said, "You guys have hot buns and quads!"... [one song later] "Is there a smoke machine in here... or is it just your smokin' quads?"
"You know what I love about the West Coast?", Asobi Seksu lead singer Yuki Chikudate asked, "When I'm here, I'm not the only fucking Asian!" (The Asian contingent in the crowd timidly cheered.)
(Opener Resplandor, from Peru, sadly made no such jokes.)
In Olga Bell's excellent covers of Bjork's (via Betty Hutton's) It's Oh So Quiet and Radiohead's Videotape/Thom Yorke's Eraser, one is first struck by Bell's clear, confident voice. And, as discovered on Friday, she has a clear, confident stage presence to match. The set was playful, emotional and quirky, and on stage, there was a lot going on: the New England Conservatory graduate, classically trained in piano, was backed by an array of percussion and electronica, and Bell herself at times was multi-tasking between keyboard and one sweet piece of musical equipment: the keytar.