Malinowski's Sounds Clash

Jay Malinowski w/ Michael Rault & Kinnie Starr

Sunday, March 21, 2010



Walking into the Pawnshop I noticed that things weren’t entirely unusual from headliner Jay Malinowski’s other project’s show: hipsters with scarves, men with baggy toques and gaggles of swooning girls skirting the stage.  Yet, knowing Malinowski’s solo material – and how utterly dissimilar to Bedouin Soundclash it is - I didn’t know how this crowd would translate his latest, saddest sound. 


Local Michael Rault opened in a musical environment so unlike his music.  What you might expect in a blues club down the avenue, Rault made you think of overly-smoky taverns and whiskey-soaked melodies.  Rault had to be extremely economical with his time and his to-the-point set created a great vibe for Malinowski.  Malinowski was not next, unfortunately. 


In what must be one of the most awkward stage/audience encounters I’ve ever witnessed, Kinnie Starr crept onto the stage. I remember seeing Starr years ago, so I’m aware that she’s been doing this for a while, however, the way she nearly asked the audience for permission to perform wasn’t too inspiring.  As she jilted through her set, Starr knee-jerked between a form of spoken-word, hip-hop and some odd form of riot girl rock.  The crowd was not prepared for a sexual education lesson, but Starr delivered one as she gracelessly stumbled through a song which was meant to ‘educate’ men and empower women about the inadequacies of how men make love.  Showing an uncomfortable appreciation of the ankle, Starr whined about the importance of kissing the full female body before moving “downtown”.   I don’t know why she included this song – or ever wrote it – but she seems to have a knack for picking particularly selfish partners.  By the end of her set, it was the end of her set, so that was nice.


Without cheer, Malinowski began his set by attempting falsetto between reminders of his rough voice, while draining the energy via accordion on ‘Skull & Bones’.  It was actually a great introduction to a uniquely somber Sunday night, but absolutely nothing like some might have expected.  As he worked his way through the entirety of ‘Bright Lights and Bruises’ an eerie silence between songs was ever present.  I guess the audience, so used to Malinowski hosting a summertime party, didn’t really know what to do or how to act or how to really clap.  I guess considering how gloomy ‘Bright Lights and Bruises’ is, it’s pretty difficult to ‘cheer on’ a pretty heartbreaking time.  Standout tracks ‘Life is a Gun’ and ‘Remembrance Day’ showed a desperate, emotional side of Malinowski that doesn’t seem to have a place in a Bedouin set.  Malinowski’s signature croaky voice and well-structured songs made the set impressive, however, at times it seemed like he couldn’t wait to get back to the rock star gig. 


more in Music Feature     |     posted Mar 23rd, 2010 at 4:06pm     

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