Natalie Portman's Shaved Head
Spaceland - 7/13/09
I'll admit to the fact that the majority of my reasoning to go see the band Natalie Portman's Shaved Head (titled after her appearance in the film V for Vendetta) was really mostly due to their name. That and, after viewing their delectably frantic music video for Sophisticated Side Ponytail, to see how they carried that overwhelming sensory overload to a live performance. Well, I must say, if there's one word to describe Natalie Portman's Shaved Head, it must be overload, as their incredibly loud, colorful, and frantic show left me standing in a defensive state resembling a somewhat mentally handicapped individual for it's entire duration. There's a lot going on here, and I must be honest, it's a tad too much for me. I was drooling.
What Natalie Portman's Shaved Head has going for it is their sense of humor. Lyrically the band reminds me of Liam Lynch who came on the scene with United States of Whatever, the shortest song to ever make the UK's top ten hit list.
But Liam Lynch didn't carry with him an ensemble cast and crew. This band does, doubly so, with a lead vocalist who, although spirited, relied more upon that spirit than his musical abilities, acting as a showman perhaps a tad more than a performer. With a few microphone mishaps (not their fault) I did find myself questioning the necessity of certain cogs in the band's construction as it didn't really seem to matter with the blasting back-up players whether the vocalist was making noises or not. I found the experience to overwhelm what I like most about their music; their personality. Maybe they just need to adjust the levels, but I wanted to hear the crew work in synch rather than compete to make the most noise.
Sophisticated Side Ponytail still serves as a pinnacle of their work so far, and considering how much I enjoy the band's personality and attitude I want to hear more.