Like a latter-day Serge Gainsbourg, the singer Adanowsky emanates cosmic sensuality, leaving a trail of fluttery-eyed females in his musky, potent wake. Such was the case as he glided through Harvard and Stone last week, all furrowed brow and crumpled shirt, looking like a broken-hearted mariachi without a guitar. (He also performs in L.A. tonight and tomorrow; details at the bottom of the post.)
Adanowsky, whose real name is Adan Jodorowsky, was in town from Mexico City to perform songs from his latest album, Amador -- Spanish for 'lover.' It's a collection of croony folk ballads designed to inspire long afternoons in bed and prolonged eye contact.
Amador is second in a series of four records, geared at exploring "the corporeal, the emotional, the sexual and the intellectual" in that order, he tells us, sitting in the cramped smoking area behind Harvard and Stone. "It's the earth, water, fire and air." Each album sees Adanowsky adopt an entirely new character and this persona, the Amador, is quite simply "obsessed with love," Jodorowsky continues.
"He is spiritual, though, which is a transition from the first record, The Idol, in which the character was suffering a lot. The Amador is sick of the darkness, and moving into a place of peace."
Adanowsky wrote the record after a gnarly break-up with his girlfriend of four years. Rather than drown in his sorrows, he visited a mystic up in a mountain in Mexico, and underwent a psychedelic healing experience that could have been straight out of his father's film epic, The Holy Mountain.
Indeed, his dad is cult movie director Alejandro Jodorowsky, the Salvador Dali of 20th century cinema, and one of the leading figures in avant garde cinema. His film El Topo become the first midnight cult film, resulting in John Lennon giving him $1million to make The Holy Mountain. Jodorowsky's failed attempt to make the film Dune -- before the project was handed to David Lynch -- is considered among the greatest films never made.
"I decided to go to the mountain because the healer told me I had a closed heart," says Adan, in his honey-accented English. "He started to do magic on me--without drugs--and after five days of healing I went back to Mexico City, almost dying. I went to the shower and I was lying on the floor; I crawled to my bed and looked up at the ceiling and I felt my chest opening. And suddenly I felt alright, like I am going to start a new life."
That was three years ago. Directly after having his heart pried open by the mountain mystic, he started Amador, writing a collection of songs that make "people feel peaceful...it's an album where you can make love."
Indeed, the record, and Adanowsky's performance, has a calmative, almost tranquilizing effect, a quivering expression of desire that lulls and seduces the listener like the most tender of young lovers. It features a duet with L.A.'s own Devendra Banhart, the ambrosial "You Are The One." (Devendra was in the house at Harvard and Stone, DJ'ing ahead of Adan's performance).
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The song came about because Adanowsky had spent many blissful afternoons getting down to Devendra's sounds. "I was making love listening to his music and I said 'Alright, I have to meet that man who gave me such beautiful orgasms," exclaims Adan. He wrote to Devendra and sent him some songs; Devendra invited him to visit him in Silverlake and record. "I went to his house and we started to draw together and then we listened to an idea for a song and he said 'Okay let's write the lyrics '." They completed "You Are The One" in two hours, and recorded it two days later.
Adanowsky himself still has yet to find The One, and after the show, he returned to his LA crash pad -- home of the lady who invented the wah pedal -- alone. He sat by the pool and strummed Jimi Hendrix songs until the wee hours. "I did meet a girl last night, but she lives in Munich,' he noted, the following morning. "I didn't even kiss her, and I didn't have sex."
Even if the girl from Munich had been his soul mate, Adan is not the kind of amador likely to get down on one knee. "Oh I don't want to have a wife," he shrugs. "I don't believe in contracts. They are for people who don't trust in themselves and the other person. When real love exists you don't have to prove that you're going to love this person all your life." The only person who stands a chance of getting Adanowsky's ring on their finger is his buddy Devendra. "At Harvard and Stone, we talked about our love for each other," coos Adanowsky. "Yes, maybe he and I will get married...maybe he is the man of my life."
Adanowsky performs songs from Amador tonight Monday, Nov. 7, at Bardot, Hollywood at 9 p.m. and at Origami Vinyl in Echo Park tomorrow night, Tuesday, Nov. 8 at 7 p.m.