A decade ago, a Dresden Dolls fan might have required a sentence or two to describe his or her favorite band. These days, the solo career of head Doll Amanda Palmer needs a multi-page explanation for each new quarterly phase. It's the mark of an artist who's constantly looking for arty new kicks on the reg — and a by-product of Palmer's ability to deliver her musical aspirations in gauzy layers of drama.
Did I say "drama"? Walking through a phalanx of Sox fans on Lansdowne Street into the House of Blues at 7 pm last Saturday was like crossing from Jockland to Drama School Island, as a seated audience politely awaited Evelyn Evelyn's entrance. Oh, right, the explanation: EE is a Palmer collaboration with multi-instrumentalist Jason Wembley wherein the two put on wigs and a frock and take on the guise of Evelyn Evelyn, conjoined twin sisters who reveal the details of their tragic life through their baleful tunes.
The concept works better live than on record. Palmer and Wembley inhabit the roles of the reserved and stunted twins, whether they're bashing through the folk-shock narrative of "The Tragic Events of September" or running through a down-tempo folk-strummed cover of Joy Division's "Love Will Tear Us Apart." And if the act at times came off like a Little Britain out-take — especially given the pair's petticoat-and-bustle conjoined dress — it was worthwhile not only for the sight of a mock-bashful Palmer pretending to shy from the limelight but also for the sheer talent-show display of Palmer and Wembley pulling these tunes off in unison as they shared duties playing keyboard and guitar, one hand each. It's possible that EE may eventually register as a minor Palmer project, but on Saturday, the seated audience was drinking in the peculiarity of this headscratchingly arch concept, knowing that in a few months Palmer will be on to something else. Oh, that's right — Cabaret at the ART. Did I say "drama"?
: Live Reviews
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