Ivy at Slim’s, Friday Oct. 28.
I’m prejudiced against French people. I’m not proud of it, but I am. However, I liked Dominique Durand–on Apartment Life her voice had all the exotic European allure of Nico without the toneless singing. Durand has a lovely if limited voice, lilting, subtle, with quirky inflection, perfectly capturing the mellow 60’s pop-rock-jazz vibe of the rest of the band. At least, recorded she does. Soon into their set at Slim’s, on “Blame It On Yourself,” Durand was noticeably flat, her thin voice grating as she strained to hit the notes in the chorus. Throughout the rest of the show, Durand was often off key. Granted, she did mention that they had just flown in from New York (“And security is–a joke” she critiqued with a snort) and flying can be taxing on the voice. But a band’s job is to entertain, and if a lead singer’s talents consist of speaking in a cute French accent, swaying her hips, and shaking a tambourine, she’s not holding up her end of the bargain. The rest of the band was very good, creating together the textures that initially attracted me to the band. Unfortunately, the entire show was plagued by disorganization. Between songs, Ivy seemed unsure of what was coming up next, letting the audience dangle in dead space. I still like Ivy’s albums, and would probably give Durand another chance, but I will never pay more than $10 for an Ivy show again.