Saturday, February 18, 2006


Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Antena - Tonic, 5.19.05
There were only about 30 or 35 people at last Thursday's Antena show at the Tonic, and it seemed just half of them were actually there to see the gig. The other half seemed barely interested in the show, as if they'd wandered in randomly for a drink. (A bit like the guy in line at Mini-Mutek NYC who asked me if we were at the Lansky Lounge.) Since Antena's opening slots for Andrew Bird ended up being cancelled - disagreements with the organizers, apparently - those of us in the crowd ended up being the only people to see the band's first visit to NYC in over 20 years. Antena's music has always seemed overlooked though - Camino Del Sol, their signature album, came out on Factory's relatively unheralded Benelux imprint and has never gotten much attention. I certainly wouldn't have heard them if not for Other Music's glowing write-up of the Camino Del Sol reissue last year, but their bossanova/"electro-samba" sound is quite nice IMO.

Still, randoms aside, I was probably the most casual fan in attendance on Thursday. (It was just $5 and I enjoyed the album enough to say why not.) Antena was originally a three-piece fronted by Isabelle Antena, but I believe she was the only one of them on this tour. She sang and played guitar, backed by a woman on electronics and some very old school drum machines. Most of the music was sampled/prerecorded, though I was hoping otherwise, but it put all the focus on Isabelle's voice. Which was fantastic - rich, nuanced, perfect for a songstress. They played most (all?) of Camino Del Sol, with the highlights being the songs I liked most on the album - the title track and "To Climb The Cliff." She also played a few other tunes, including what I'm told was an America cover. All in all, it was a good show. Not the kind of gig to win you over or turn you off, but everyone there seemed pretty happy with it. Hey, even the drunk random folks were dancing.