The Circle Bar
October 26, 2004
BY JASON SONGE
Since I reviewed the Paradise Vendors in April, they've recorded their debut album and amassed quite a local following. Walk into The Circle Bar on any weeknight at 10 and it's pretty vacant. Tuesday night, the place was already bustling in anticipation when I strolled in two hours before midnight. Probably because the Paradise Vendors always play to win. They impose a high standard of sound quality upon themselves, and I can't remember when they've made a mistake. The band was vocalist Jeanne Stallworth, guitarist Robert Vicnair, drummer Elzy Lindsey, keyboardist Anton Gussoni, and bassist/accordionist Dave Baker.
Their rock shows are always fun. Mistress Jeanne Stallworth made sure of that. Last night she handed out plastic, squishable insects and chocolate covered eyeballs. I'm pretty sure they weren't real, but knowing the band's dark tendencies...oh, well, what's an eyeball, right? Stallworth gave a persona to each song with her grim, ill-fated lyrics and her convincing acting. She made so many different facial expressions as she hung on the mic stand and jumped and danced around the room to the music. Yummy rock performance.
The music was a soundtrack to an underbelly. Whether with accordion, heavy bass, ominous surf guitar or alien synthesizer wails, the band's music exposed what was under this city's black veil. All those things I'm sure happen in the French Quarter in the early morning that I never get an invitation to. All the stories that are still secrets.
Did I mention they rocked? Lots of jump beats and grating noises that created tension and explosions.
The band played two sets that showcased two new songs. The band will release their debut 13 song LP in two months. Until then, check them live, pick up their EP, and look for their feature in November's Offbeat.