Unlike the loosely-defined sorry-ass 'artistic' musings of dime-a-dozen alterna-bands, All the Pretty Horses command immediate attention wherever they go, capturing your eyes and ears even if you walked into the bar for some other reason. In the Voudoun ('voodoo') tradition, one of the world's most danceable religions, a 'horse' is a person one of the gods chooses to ride; a form of benign possession that can explode gender boundaries. There are four 'horses,' and yes they are pretty. The [band] is led by enigmatic S. Grandell [Venus] (guitar and vocals), a being of many talents, always dressed provocatively in little black vixen outfits-at The Loring it was a bustier, long fingerless gloves, lace mini and boots-whose voice is the hybrid offspring of Patti Smith crossed with young David Bowie in his Ziggy Stardust incarnation. Grandell is the only musician I know of these days who still plays as if romantically-entangled with their guitar. They rock somewhere between Glam and Goth, and they really throw their bodies into their work. Fierce hard-edged instrumentals underline but don't overshadow Grandell's elegant, eloquent lyrics of monsters, angels and shadowy lovers. . s/he cries, croons and screams, love songs Out of that third space between male and female, anguish and ecstasy, flesh and disembodiment. 'Are you a boy, girl?' This is real life, not a lifestyle. Living full-time as an androgen, Grandell is a genuine transgender person ltransgender: one who has moved between gender categories) who has suffered real discrimination, once denied a seat on a jury for presenting an ambiguous sex (wouldn't that make you less biased as a jury-member?). S. Grandell is also a visual artist, creating huge paintings of ethereal blue androgynous nudes floating over cities or dreamscapes of bones, vines and roses, which have been displayed in many locations in the Twin Cities. Merchants at the Lumber Exchange building asked that the paintings be taken down from RJ's Hair Salon, where a friend had arranged for their display in a window. At The Loring Bar, All The Pretty Horses introduced two new songs; one they described as having a punkabilly sound, the other called Angel. Though the majority of songs are originals composed by Grandell, they opened their second set with a cover of David Bowie's 'Space Oddity' and ended with their signature version of the torch song 'Falling in Love Again'-originally sung by sultry gender-bender of the past, Marlene Dietrich.
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