The Mermaid Lounge
July 31, 2004
Vocalist/guitarist Roy Ivy struggled with anxious stutter-steps, staccato body movements and the willingness of his flesh to turn it into something fluid. Dallas trio The Tah-Dahs obliterated me with pop and punk at The Mermaid Lounge Saturday Night.
One second Ivy was singing a head-swaying rock ditty with “Say Anything” romantic references and falsetto "dah-dahs". The next Ivy came alive after the drummer dropped an offbeat punk attack. Before I knew it, the song was back at its timid start. The disjunction felt right, just like it does in the songs of the Pixies. The Tah-Dahs’ many changes in direction kept my interest high and mimicked the social anxiety in their lyrics. Bassist Charlie Papathanasiou and drummer James Porter rounded out the band.
Porter was able to follow the changes, but his value in the band was in his stylistic contribution. He performed a fast new wave run on the hi-hat during a beat, did sixteenth notes on the ride cymbal, and he knew how to click back in with the music after an eclectic fill.
The songs were fun. Some were dance-worthy, while others were best to nod or tap a foot to. Barely ten people were in The Mermaid Lounge for this gig, which was too bad, considering talented local band The Paradise Vendors opened the show. After one particularly energetic outburst by Ivy, lead singer Jeanne Stallworth shouted out, “Hot!” Ivy dodged it and said, “Yeah, it gets really hot in New Orleans.” Measure female attention and crowd saturation.
To end the set, The Tah-Dahs played a punked- out version of The Ronettes' "Be my Baby," or a song that sounded very similar, so tell me what it was if I'm wrong. The members of headlining band The Happy Bullets assisted with harmonizing. It was a positive, friendly moment.
Can’t wait to see The Tah-Dahs again.