Evelyn Evelyn at Largo at the Coronet, Los Angeles, CA, May 25, 2010 | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Friday, July 12th, 2024  

Amanda Palmer and Jason Webley as "Evelyn Evelyn"

Evelyn Evelyn

Evelyn Evelyn at Largo at the Coronet, Los Angeles, CA, May 25, 2010, May 25th, 2010

May 31, 2010 Photography by Laura Studarus Evelyn Evelyn
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Amanda Palmer is a source of relentless energy who bends the laws of cabaret (and often, life) to her twisted bidding, be it alone, with The Dresden Dolls, or with her new project, presenting and “producing” the debut album of conjoined twins, Evelyn Evelyn. (Really Palmer and pal Jason Webley in a dress built for two and dubious wigs, but I’m willing to suspend my disbelief if you are.) Their stage show, which stopped in Los Angeles for a three night run at the appropriately old-Hollywood Largo at the Coronet, was heavy on the theatrics, and even heavier on camp. Cynics, you have been warned.

Despite the occasional break in character (You try playing a piano, guitar, accordion or ukulele with one hand and your best friend at your side without giggling.), Evelyn Evelyn are quite the show women. Shuffled through their set by master of ceremonies, the well-coifed Sxip Shirey, the twins wordlessly and obediently performed their material, supporting each other with a whisper, pat on the shoulder, or when pleased, awkward applause. While not a terribly polished performance, it was endearing and thematically appropriate for a pair of sisters who reportedly spent the majority of their lives in social isolation.

In addition to album highlights “Evelyn Evelyn,” “Have You Seen My Sister Evelyn?” and lighters-in-the air “My Space,” the performance also included a Shirey-lead silhouette-puppet interlude where the twins revealed their sordid Oliver-twist-by-way-of-Tim-Burton back-story. It was the only real look into what makes the twins tick, as during the “ask Evelyn Evelyn” segment (a trick no doubt borrowed from Palmer’s infamous “Ask Amanda” show breaks) they preferred to “Gaze into the mysteries of the universe,” answering in alternating words the audience’s most pressing questions about their futures and the mysteries of life.

In a nod to the controversy that surrounded the project earlier this year (Many detractors argued that dressing up like conjoined twins was exploitive or ablest.), or perhaps in response to Shirey’s intense micro managing, the twins ended the night by taking matters into their own hands. Rejecting Shirey’s declaration they would perform Annie hit “Tomorrow,” as an encore, the twins reached into their handbag, pulled out a gun, and silenced him with a single shot. Grabbing a promised Twix bar from the table near his “body,” they closed out the show with an understated ukulele cover of Joy Division’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart.” Weird? Well, duh. Over the top? Without a doubt. One thing’s for certain, Amanda Palmer and her pals, “protégées,” or alter egos, will always deliver a memorable evening. (www.evelynevelyn.com)


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