Autre Ne Veut Report Card

NXNE Report Card ’14: Autre Ne Veut @ Tattoo

Wednesday, June 18. The experimental pop auteur throws an ugly and wonderful show closer to metal than "nu-R&B."

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- Jun 19, 2014

Background/Composition: Noise, anger, and hard-won catharsis help define and distinguish Arthur Ashin's experimental pop project, Autre Ne Veut.

Narrative Arc Thru Sonics: A

Ashin started off with "Play By Play," a song with emotional peaks that graze the atmosphere and corresponding high notes in the song's beginning. He didn't hit them, and brushed his face away from the microphone like a boxer deflecting a blow. In song after song, though, he demonstrated a startling rawness and range in his vocals.

Autre Ne Veut - Counting [Official Single]

He twisted and writhed with a perpetual grimace, and the show took the shape of an ugly and compelling internal battle. This came to a head on "Warning," which on stage had the colour of a wounded animal's snarl compared to the tearful, still-skronky studio version. It was a tense moment for those of us at the back when he collapsed: at that point in the show it would have been understandable if he didn't get up.

The show's climax was "Counting," and in true redemption myth style, he struck every syllable with ease and even rapped Mykki Blanco's verse on the remix. The place went nuts.

Autre Ne Veut, The Band: B+

This was clearly the Arthur show, so the lack of onstage interaction between his drummer and electrician can be forgiven. And they obviously both added a richness to the sound that an iPod dock couldn't. It would have been amazing to see a guitarist and saxophone player freak the fuck out, though.

Jesus Christ Pose: A

Everytime I see a musician mime a crucifix on stage I'm usually reminded of Creed's "Higher" vid and roll my eyes. Usually. Ashin did this like three times and it was more affecting than watching the climax of The Passion Of The Christ and still being kind of religious.

FINAL GRADE: A

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