Review: The Shoe's At Lem Jay's Garage (EP)

The Shoe is billed as "an improvisational music collaboration" rather than a band. This was the first thing that piqued my interest.

The second thing that piqued my interest is the fact that The Shoe is a collaboration between actress Jena Malone (Contact, Saved!, Sucker Punch) and musician Lem Jay Ignacio (who, according to the PR folks at their label has performed and recorded with artists including Zooey Deschanel, Moby, Cypress Hill, Kelly Osbourne, Adam Levine, and Seth MacFarlane, co-produced the song "The Man with the Big Sombrero" for Quentin Tarantino's film Inglorious Basterds and in 2006 he was the musical director and keyboardist for a production of Hedwig And The Angry Inch).

The third thing that caught my eye is the fact that The Shoe is also a traveling musical instrument built into the back of an old steamer truck. Basically, Jena and Lem Jay are street performers. They set up their gear at night in unusual places (abandoned store fronts, parking lots, under billboards) in L.A. and do impromptu performances.

Today they release their first EP to iTunes.

Overall, there's some stuff that I like but it's a little too experimental for my tastes. It reminded me of Amanda Palmer a little bit. I really wanted to like it, but it gets a little too pitchy and avant garde for my liking. I think I'd actually like to see them live though. I did rather like "Raccoon" and this is wisely the track that they're releasing for free download.

So if you're curious, try "Raccoon" and then head on over to iTunes to check out the rest of the EP. If you're in or near LA you might want to try to catch a show. Their website has information about upcoming shows.

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