With the amount of eventful things constantly occurring in New York, it’s difficult for me to believe I haven’t found anything to blog about in almost two months. But perhaps that’s due to being ridiculously distracted by the ongoing job search, and hunt for a new residence, as I have to leave my Upper East Side digs at the end of October. (Although that now seems like an ample amount of time to find a new apartment, since I thought I would have to be out by the beginning of the month until two days ago.) I received a formal invitation to review a show about two weeks ago though, so here I am, finally back at the keyboard.
“Alternative Pop” vocalist and keyboardista Katrine Ottosen, aka CallMeKAT, graced the stage at the Lower East Side’s Rockwood Music Hall on the evening of September 15th, the first chilly night the city has felt in months, indicating that fall is quickly making its way to the city. The angelic voiced Dane was joined by bassist Sara Lee, of the B-52’s, and drummer Joe Magistro. (The packed venue’s stage was so tiny that Magistro’s kit had to be set up just next to the stage.)
The soft spoken singer was not especially talkative, mostly speaking to inform us of song titles, and their source of inspiration, such as “Going Home,” a track she had written before visiting Denmark after several years in the states. Though some could say this was detrimental to Kat, as performers are often expected to be especially extroverted, I found her shy moments to be quite endearing, as she seemed more coy than intimidated.
When it came time to actually play, though, Kat’s stage presence immediately went from meek to bold, as she moved with confidence over her keyboard, and her vocal range hit impressive high notes. The juxtaposition of Kat’s sweet voice with the almost eerie effects of the keyboard and bass gave her music a noire-like vibe. Though the audience seemed unaffected during the mellow tempo-ed tracks, they reacted with enormous cheers at the close of each song. Attendees also got the chance to show their support by dropping a buck or two in a “tip the band” bucket that one of Rockwood’s waitresses wandered through the crowd with.
Kat’s most lengthy address to the audience came close to the end of the show, when she explained that the night had two causes for celebration. First, she was thrilled that her home country had just elected their first female prime minister. Secondly Kat was proud to announce that donations for her the physical release of her 2010 album “When Owls are Out” had reached ninety-six percent of her fundraising goal, as she is employing pledgemusic.com for financial support from her fans.
Kat’s final track, the sultry “Flower in the Night,” was briefly delayed as Kat searched for one of her instruments in a duffel bag atop one of the amps. Her charming shyness was on full display, as she told the audience to wait just a minute because, “I have to get a little thing out of the bag.” Since I was standing at the back of the house, I’m not quite sure if that little thing was the small electric bullhorn or kazoo that appeared during her closing song. Kat ended her lovely set with a sincere thank you before exiting the stage.
According to the promotional cards handed out after the show, CallmeKAT will be making her way back to Denmark country on October 14th, when she will play Copenhagen. Anyone that wishes to help Kat’s cause will now also be giving to Doctors Without Borders, since ten percent of every euro donated after the hundred percent mark will go to the organization. (As of September 24th, she is at one hundred twenty five percent.) While all pledgers will receive a digital copy of “When Owls are Out,” those who feel especially generous can receive a number of personalized gifts, from signed CDs to a “full blown house concert!” (You’ll have to shell out 3,500 euro for the latter ,though.)
As far as this blog, I can assure you that my habit of not frequently updating is about to be broken, as I have a review of last week’s Brooklyn Indie Fest in the works. Until then, good vibes everyone!