Monday, January 11, 2010
Billie Holiday + palm-thatched hut in 1940's Waikiki + Hipster Jazz Renaissance = Leftover Cuties
Imagine yourself being thrust back into the 1940's, deep into the bowells of New York, in some underground jazz club. The air is ripe with the smell of smoke, booze is flowing freely, and the sounds of a warm sultry voice cut through the hazy hallway in which you're standing. Is that Etta James singing? Maybe Ella Fitzgerald? Woah-where the hell am I?!?
This is exactly what went through my head last Saturday night while at a house party in Venice, California. The voice was Shirli McAllen, lead singer of Leftover Cuties, and like the sirens call to Odysseus, it was hard not to fall immediately in love with her. Dressed stylishly, as if just coming from Gatsby's house, McAllen and her band are the complete package. Backing her is a blend of ukulele, harmonica, whistle, bass, and light percussion. All of their tunes are rather dreamy, and come across as free spirited jam sessions. Think Amy Winehouse but more jazzy.
They just released a new EP called "Game Called Life." Go buy it, but be forewarned: their deep, yet playful sound is like a drug and in this case everybody will get stoned.