Kristeen Young Turns the Moroccan Lounge Into Her Beauty Shop: The Moroccan Lounge, over on 1st Street, L.A., is a great place to watch a show. It might not be in the most happening neighborhood that the city has to offer — it’s quiet all around and we parked next to a mortuary — but when you’re there, that almost-secret feeling is to the bar’s immense benefit. That the bar and stage are in separate rooms is very cool too; the concert room is decorated very plainly because it’s all about the music.

The opening band on Saturday was locals Crisis Actor, and they were worth turning up early for. Post-punk in the best way, these guys bring the likes of Wire, Gang of Four and even Public Image to mind. Loud and suitably angry, with weird and whacky curveballs where you least expect them, we’ll be checking them out again.

North Carolina dark punks Secret Shame were the closers, and there was much to be impressed with there too. A female singer with clown makeup was interesting from the top. Songs that recall Brit punks the Slits, X-Ray Spex and Siouxsie too kept the intrigue alive throughout the set. Moody and broody, but very groove-heavy.

But for us, the night was all about middle act Kristeen Young. We’ve been following Young since first seeing her in London in 2005 on a bill with Tegan & Sara and Ari Up of the Slits. In the nearly 18 years since then, Young has gone from strength to strength as an artist. Not nearly enough people know about her still, but her work is consistently dazzling.

At the Moroccan, Young performed without a band — just her and her keyboard, sometimes dancing alone. The set drew fairly heavily from the most recent album The Beauty Shop, an experimental affair. Partially as a result the set was a true performance. Real art.

“Life Kills,” from that new album, is a beautifully caustic, flamboyantly intense way to open the show, but the likes of “Sue Veneer” and “Sara Get the Baby” are equally compelling.

Young is a hypnotic performer and musician. Her voice alternates between pained cries and sweet coos, all the while her eyes wide and fluttering. You simply can’t take your eyes off of her.

An encore is demanded of her, of course, and she provides “Boomerang”. And even that isn’t enough. Thankfully she says that she’ll be back in L.A. soon. Much like that boomerang!

Kristeen Young (Brett Callwood)

Secret Shame (Brett Callwood)

Kristeen Young Turns the Moroccan Lounge Into Her Beauty Shop


























































































































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