Japa, Pedro, Chantal and Timo could be the raincoated
figures in a noir Casablanca, all eyeliner, chiselled features
and a repressed, intelligent sensuality in a sexy, stifling
tropical climate... clandestine machinations over razor-sharp
stiletto heels and chilled vodka. Close, real close.
exude sex. AND THEY ROCK! They strain to contain the surfeit
of talent within the dirty, tight songs that make you want
to shag all of them at once. Every song is like a separate
sexual encounter, delivered by one of the most gorgeous bands
in NYC, but let me say what I really think.
impossibly-named singing odalisque, Chantal Claret has been
an object of my fascination since I first saw her voluptuousness
gracing the scraggy crowds at NYC's indie clubs, promoting,
flirting, creating. By the end of the second song of any gig,
Chantal looks like she's been bestowing her gifts all night
on some unsuspecting youth, all streaked mascara and pink
cheeks. Chantal is the baby of the band, and claims, rather
charmingly, that she's "used to being underage".
With VIP and RIP tattoos on her arms, and film school behind
her, she cuts a figure that most girls can only dream of.
Yanowitz has girls falling in love with him every time he
breathes in, and it gets worse when he breathes out. Boyish
charm never had it so good. Ah, the bass is wielded with such
tender, firm sexiness, it betrays the nice guy behind all
his apparent lasciviousness. Pedro's pedigree needs just a
moment of exposure; the founding of the Wallflowers with Jakob
Dylan, a long standing stint, as drummer, with Nathalie Merchant,
then founding Morningwood, "my dream band". Pedro's
professional and emotional generosity draws people to him,
and he numbers Money Mark amongst his collaborators.
from artistic seed, athletic, workaholic Timo Ellis looks
like he's about to orgasm when he's on stage and it makes
for a compulsive performance, especially with the added dichotomy
of the knob-twiddling aspect of his musicianship. Having formed
two punk bands at school, Lemonade and Nubin, Timo has performed
and recorded with Yoko Ono, Sean Lennon and Cibo Matto, and
recently released a side-project solo record that indulges
his electronic bent.
Keenon appears to have walked off the set of a late 50's British
black and white film: the handsome cad with smouldering eyes
that could burn a hole in any woman's knickers, and gets away
with it. How he retains his dignity thrashing the crap out
of the drums, God only knows, but elegance appears to be a
Morningwood trait. Japa likes his electronic candy too and
has collaborated with Timo on the latter's solo record, as
well as having worked with the venerable Daniel Johnston,
Sean Lennon, Ben Lee and cibo Matto.
came together in 2001, as Pedro puts it, "Four best friends
jumping into a collaboration together with all the best hopes.
We figured we hang out together all the time, so why not try
to get paid and laid at the same time?" I sincerely hope
he doesn't mean the whole band at the same time... too rich
for my blood, baby. I'll try anything once, but with Morningwood
once is definitely not enough. So it comes as no surprise
that people are drooling over this magnetic new frontispiece.
Basia Zamorska 2003
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