I’ve been at LPR for a lot of pretty good shows in the last five years—and a few mind-bendingly incredible ones. Without consulting the metaverse to jog my memory, the following nights come to mind:
1. Todd Sickafoose’s Tiny Resistors and the Mary Halvorson Trio (May 18, 2011)
If I remember correctly, this was my first show at LPR, ever. I was new to New York, of legal drinking age, and watching avant-jazz, and those three circumstances combined spurred a sort of out-of-body experience. Seeing Andrew Bird in the flesh, supporting Sickafoose’s combo with cosmic harmonics evoking erhu, was transporting. Getting to talk bow technique with him post-show was icing.
2. Flying Lotus & Death Grips (October 17 2012)
Maybe this one doesn’t count. At the time, I was back in the Midwest finishing school, and desperately wanted to be at this show—luckily, NPR streamed it online. I wasn’t physically present to see MC Ride sweat the stage up, no—but through the lens of a laptop monitor and a heady joint, I was still afraid of getting trampled. It was rowdy, is my point. I punched myself in the face to recreate the freneticism.
I’m not even going to talk about Flying Lotus. It wouldn’t be enough. You can still see the whole show via NPR.
3. inc. – a ‘no world’ takeover featuring… Zomby, Kelela, & Total Freedom (February 19, 2013)
One thing I love about LPR shows is how often an opener whom you’ve never heard of totally rocks your world. This was the case at February’s show with inc., Zomby, Kelela & Total Freedom. Don’t get me wrong—inc. was crazy, but Kelela Mizanekristos glided into the spotlight and the world outside stopped. Having only heard her on vocals in Teengirl Fantasy’s ‘EFX’ previously, I was struck by her presence, both powerful and demure, and a set that represented a new breed of R&B songstress. In particular, I recall her siren-singing over an Araabmuzik track that made me unsure of whether to cry or dance, so I sort of did both. Her mixtape needs to come out yesterday.
by Forrest Wu