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If You Are Not At These Shows, Not Only Are You Bummed But You Are Not At These Shows...Or, Go See Shilpa Ray And Her Happy Hookers & Natural Child And Suffer No Pangs Of Guilt...

Happy indeed at NYC's Mercury Lounge! by Gulshan Kirat
There are two shows happening in San Francisco this week that got nary a mention in either weekly and seem to have slipped past other local blogs in San Francisco, still reminiscent and power drunk from attending SXSW. They are as it happens, happening back to back. We strongly urge you to brave the rain for NYC's Shilpa Ray And Her Happy Hookers opening for Acid Mother's Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O at the Bottom of the Hill on Thursday night. On Friday night in the Mission district Verdi Club is hosting Nashville's Natural Child on a bill to support Austin, TX's The Strange Boys and SF's Ty Segall. Both shows feature live shows that are often unhinged and/or cathartic performances by still (with the exception of Segall) relative unknowns to the Bay Area. But in the case of Shilpa Ray, the New York Times, New Yorker, and Spin Magazine have all taken notice along with Nick Cave and Patti Smith.

Shilpa Ray And Her Happy Hookers feature Ray on the most RAWKING use of the least used instrument in rock, the harmonium. The four-piece from New York City have the aggressiveness of early Bad Seeds, the bi-polar qualities of PJ Harvey's first two albums, mixed with a poets heart. Bandleader Shilpa Ray is a force on stage, leaving one feeling like they just witnessed an exorcism. The music gets its inspiration from horror movies, the blues and Beat poetry. The rhythm section pounds and churls, guitars alternate between slashing stabs and lilting arpeggios with the organ qualities of the harmonium taking the whole sound to church. The most arresting instrument is Ray's voice which can range from melodious to soaring vociferate howls, often with in a few bars. This music is theatrical and intense, built for big venues and they should lay waste to the relatively small Bottom of the Hill. If Shilpa Ray And The Happy Hookers were a movie genre they would be a redemptive horror/slasher pic. It's no wonder Nick Cave hand-picked them to open up dates on the recent Grinderman tour - the two are musical kindred spirits. Shilpa Ray And Her Happy Hookers are on tour in support of the January release of their second album Teenage and Torture on Knitting Factory Records. This is a show that will be worth every penny as they are hot on the heels of some white HOTT SXSW shows. Look for a review here on Friday!

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