Paper Bird at the Oriental, 12/31/10

Categories: Concert Reviews

A.H. Goldstein

Dovekins • Pee Pee
12.31.10 | Oriental Theatre

The New Year's Eve traditions on display at the Oriental Theater went beyond the noisemakers and the balloons. For the second year in a row, Paper Bird shared the bill with Dovekins to ring in the new year. The young but promising musical tradition paired two complementary outfits, bands that seemed to feed off each other's energy and enthusiasm. The inclusion this year of Pee Pee only added to the larger sense of musical continuity, as the three groups offered a rich palette of sounds with a common, folksy base.

A.H. Goldstein

DJs Blindside and M1000 offered a driving, ambient background soundtrack as the crowd filed in. Pee Pee's opening set started after 9 p.m., and the octet quickly set a celebratory, if chaotic, mood. The outfit reveled in performance-art antics and sound experiments that often proved dissonant. Female bandmembers emerged dressed as mustachioed men, while lead singer Doo Crowder and the rest of the Pee Pee men wore dresses and gowns.

While much of Pee Pee's set seemed more like pure experimentation and performance art, the outfit offered some affecting moments. Crowder didn't want for any earnestness in his high-powered strumming, and the group's combination of flute, violin, cello and expanded percussion was downright lush. The high point of Pee Pee's set came in its performance of "Jaroline," which had the crowd in front singing and dancing along. Lines like "My heart is a forest growing out of control/Your heart is a goldfish swimming round in a bowl" also stood out from the sometimes dissonant experimentation.

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