Holly Golightly Emo's Jr., Thursday 14
It may have been a cool spring evening outside, but Emo's Jr. was steamed up like August by the time Holly Golightly took the stage. Having put in four years with Billy Childish in Thee Headcoats, Golightly's pedigree is garage rock, but her solo material owes more to postwar Chicago blues. This was plainly evidenced by her electrified but restrained set Thursday night. Speaking into a mike covered by one of former Chisel vocalist Ted Leo's socks, she sounded like a cheeky London girl, but once Golightly started singing, her voice became possessed by the ghost of some middle American roadhouse barmaid who'd chosen sarcasm and sneers over drama and tears. The hint of garage punk fuzz and feedback permeating last year's compelling Singles Round Up
(Damaged Goods) was replaced by pure twang und slur. In addition to saucy brush-offs like "No Big Thing," Golightly has a knack for choosing a tasteful array of cover tunes ranging in style from Lee Hazelwood to Stephen Malkmus. Tonight, she pulled off a commanding rendition of Ike Turner's "Your Love Is Mine" that garnered plenty of huzzahs from the sardines up front. Despite the fact that Golightly's trash can mixture of blues and rockabilly is backward-looking, her universal love-gone-wrong songs strike a timeless chord that makes them natural candidates for breakup mix tapes. While fevered personalities storm after a wayward lover in hysterics, the truly sensible are cool enough to say "You ain't no big thing, baby." In spite of Thursday's sauna of humanity, Golightly's short set was nothing but cool.