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  • Live Review: Garfunkel and Oates - The Fake Gallery, Los Angeles

    Fri, 03 Apr 2009 11:19:54

    Riki Lindhome Videos


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    As vapid and vacant as Los Angeles can be, there's still a lot of life beating in the city's stillborn heart. Beyond the gloss of Hollywood clubs, like Opera and Les "Duh," and tourist traps, like the "walk of shame," exists an underground artist community that's producing more genuinely fulfilling product than most major studios are. In the smallest nooks of Hollywood, there's some great art, comedy and music just waiting to be devoured by starved enthusiasts. However, you've got to find it. Not that it's hidden from the general public, but you've got to know where to look. It's not necessarily coming out of the indie music hotbed Silverlake, either. Garfunkel and Oates is simultaneously a product of this vibrant artist community and the larger machinations of the entertainment industry. That's possibly why they are Los Angeles's best kept secret—not for long though.

    Garfunkel and Oates, a duo of actresses Riki Lindhome (The Last House on the Left, The Changeling, Million Dollar Baby, My Best Friend's Girl) and Kate Micucci (Scrubs), concoct hilarious folk tunes about everything from guys who can't commit to a smart girl and nuns to smug moms-to-be and dudes they just want to be friends with. Their wit is razor sharp, and they put on a theatrical show with its own undeniable duende. Playing The Fake Gallery on Melrose Ave. and Vermont last night, Garfunkel and Oates brought their acoustic songs to life with enigmatic showmanship. The girls traded vocals seamlessly, enhancing each joke, rib or witty remark with dry and clever facial expressions. The opening song, "Fuck You," followed a methodical dance routine to Bobby Brown's "Every Little Step I Take," and the packed crowd instantly fell under Garfunkel and Oates' spell.

    "The Nun Song" and "Present Face" proved sidesplittingly funny, as Riki and Kate swapped lines that carried melodies about Jesus and getting sucky presents. The highlight of the set was a brand new song entitled "You, Me and Steve." Its narrative lyrics, about dating a guy who always brings his friends out, were simply hilarious. The track was packed with double entendre, and Riki made sure to enunciate each and every line, never missing a joke. In between songs, she and Kate took turns reading poetry from the "voice of our generation," Ashanti, and her "predecessor," Suzanne Somers. The deadpan reading of Ashanti's "metaphors and stuff" couldn't have made a more perfect segue into songs like "Silver Lining," "Self Esteem," "Beige Curtains" and "Pregnant Women are Smug."

    The girls can play too! Everything from trumpet to clarinet was utilized at one point or another, and it gave the show a bombastic feel. These two could hit an arena, no problem, which is one of the coolest things about G&O.

    However, there was one serious moment that proved somewhat poignant, given the context. Riki prefaced "As You Are" by explaining that the last time G&O played it, a few friends asked if it was about them. However, the person the cut was inspired by didn't. The song's tone was sweet and somber, but Riki conjured that dynamic balance without missing a beat.

    It was an interesting break from the show's mostly funny tone. However, recently, legendary Tool frontman and strong proponent of Los Angeles' underground art scene Maynard James Keenan told this writer, "The key factor in any vocalist is if the comedy, tragedy and passion come through." G&O bare all three proudly, and they prove L.A. still has some soul.

    —Rick Florino

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