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Show Recap: Girlpool at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Billy Gil, June 3, 2015 03:45pm | Post a Comment

Philly-by-way-of-L.A. duo Girlpool came to Amoeba Hollywood on June 2, the release day of their debut LP, Before the World Was Big, for an intimate, special performance. But the cool thing about Girlpool is that all of their performances feel this way; with just two members, Cleo Tucker (guitar) and Harmony Tividad (bass) and no drummer, Girlpool place the focus on their songs, which feel small enough to fit in your hands but are deceptively intricate and lyrically oblique, forcing you to turn them over and try to figure them out.

The band began with album opener “Ideal World,” which puts their feminist message at the forefront, declaring “Put me on a food stamp and a Hallmark card/Tranquilize me with your ideal world.” Single “Chinatown” followed, the song moving from a serene folk feel and walking bassline to cutting noise. The duo sounded most confident when they sang in unison on lines like “If I told you I loved you, would you take it the wrong way?” The band stayed away from their self-titled EP’s initially grabbing songs, “Jane” and “Blah Blah Blah,” and instead played “Paint Me Colors,” a more morose tune with lyrics like “I’ll never understand what it means to be a man who is white ‘cause he never has to fight” and a noisey ending reminiscent of Dramarama’s “Anything, Anything.”  

“I Like That You Can See It” and “Crowded Stranger” followed, blending lyrical honesty and mysteriousness. Tucker and Tividad kept stage banter to a minimum, save for a call of “Go Dodgers!,” asking if anyone had seen Mad Max and letting people know they were giving away copies of a mixtape they made for FYF. The set ended on a few of the band’s more somber tunes (which also are some of their best): the quiet, road-weary introspection and hopscotching vocals of “Dear Nora,” the slowly unfurling riffs of “Plants and Worms,” and whispery, pained “Cherry Picking.”

See more photos from the show here. Read my interview with Girlpool here.

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Girlpool (8), Live Shows (12), Live At Amoeba (38), Amoeba Hollywood (867)