Banana Nutrament

Kelley Polar Debut at the Knitting Factory

Was looking forward to his show for some time, unfortunately, we got there a little late and had to hustle out right after, thereby missing Morgan Geist and Dan Selzer's DJ sets.

Kelley Pollar strode out onstage in full battle regalia (peppered with Lite Brites), crowd buzzed with happy murmurs about his "Tron outfit", people, get your movies right, it was straight up Running Man. I was in the back, and cameraless, so send over pictures if you've got them.

He killed it with "Here in the Night", later running through most of Love Songs of the Hanging Gardens and even a few of the choicer cuts from his earlier EPs. But even with the aid of a gorgeous backup singer, Polar's nervousness on stage was palpable, though in the end it probably just endeared him further to the audience. The Kelley Polar Quartet swelled to a collection of seven vestal violinists, garlands of flowers crowning all the women's locks. They turned into an octet the few times Polar joined in on viola, a masked man helping out on drum synth pads and PowerBook all the while.

My only complaint would be the dire combination of a chatty crowd crossed with soft levels on the mix. I once saw a great Acid Mothers Temple performance at the Knit, at the beginning Kawabata Makoto beckoned the soundboard guy to boost the volume with two middle fingers motioning upwards. Felt like doing that to the sound guy myself, I'm not used to straining my ears to hear dance music, though I suppose it's difficult to mic two singers along with such a large string section.

Great little performance, nice to see someone like Polar sneak out of the orchestra pit and go where his heart leads him. The live act will get its kinks ironed out in time, go see him if you have the opportunity. Don't expect Jamie Lidell style crooning or disco bombast, encountering the rarefied weirdness of Kelley Polar in performance is like stumbling across some forgotten, quiet nook of the Paradise Garage.

Kelley Polar - Vocalise (Morgan Geist 12'' Re-Edit)
**Buy it at Turntablelab**

Kelley Polar Quartet - Hammer/Anvil (originally reviewed here)
**Buy it direct from Environ Records**

Someone should buy him an Italian castle, a Stradivarius, and a couple of Moroder's daughters.