Not content to simply be the most eclectic show of the evening - or in recent memory, for that matter - Wednesday night at Melody Inn offered classically-trained violinists, emcees, poets and shirtless provocateurs.
The Innate's set featured an artist rapping and singing along to pre-recorded songs, none of which lasted long enough to make an impression, and devolved into the selfsame artist insulting his audience for inattentiveness. Girl Talk does this sort of ADHD-inspired pop collage-work so much better. There's value in music like this, and with the right person fronting the project it can be entertaining and stimulating, but The Innate's disinterest and aggression was a disservice to whatever it was he was doing.
With a voice not at all unlike Joanna Newsom's, Emily Wells' shtick could easily wear thin. It's a tribute to her talent as a musician and her impressive songwriting that it doesn't. From her cover of Notorious B.I.G.'s "Juicy" to her own classically-influenced hip/hop material material, the violinist's music demands the kind of attention she didn't get. Perhaps it was the vibe at the Melody Inn, but Wells' music didn't resonate with the majority of the venue. It's a shame.
Outfitted in a ridiculous grey satin cape and dark black sunglasses, it became increasingly clear as the set endlessly wore on that Project Doomlicker was winging it. Songs started and stopped abruptly, unsophisticated beats and samples plugged along and the Emcee himself provided little charisma in attempting to interest his audience.
Andy D's persona is mostly about serving up his lewd and lascivious hip-hop anthems with a side of sly social commentary. Andy D is smart enough to understand that the success of what he does depends on balance - absurdity vs. substance, presentation vs. songwriting. It's tongue-in-cheek at its best. As usual, the highlight was "God Loves Drunk Chicks."
The Mel was probably not the best venue for the poet Mindy Nettifee. It became increasingly difficult to hear her poems over the din. What was audible confirms the much-lauded poet's gift. Try and catch Nettifee in a coffee shop if you can. It's worth it.