People might insist that MySpace is dead but it is the first place I go when I am trying to get a “feel” for a new band. In a glance, I can see what genre the band falls into and I can easily listen to one or two of their tracks without the headaches that other sites present. Imagine my confusion then when I visited the MySpace of Shilpa Ray and Her Happy Hookers and saw that they class themselves in the genre of ‘Chinese traditional / Comedy / Club’. I decided to give them a chance, and I’m happy I did.
Quickly I learned that there is nothing comedic or Chinese about this band’s music and Shilpa Ray has an incredible voice. Shilpa Ray and Her Happy Hookers sound like a cross between Throwing Muses and Florence and the Machine but there is a heavier, darker side to them that really appeals to me. In fact, they sound a bit like Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds but with a female lead and when asked what new band got him going, Nick Cave is said to have replied, “Have you heard of Shilpa Ray?”
Hailing from New Jersey but currently residing in Brooklyn, Shilpa Ray has teamed up with Andrew Bailey on guitar, Nick Hundley on bass, and John Adamski on drums and percussion. Shilpa Ray and her Happy Hookers will be releasing their second album Teenage and Torture on January 18, 2011 on Knitting Factory Records. They are offering a free download of their single “Venus Shaver” to get old and new fans warmed up for the release next year.
Venus Shaver (mp3)
Shilpa Ray and Her Happy Hookers are performing at Southpaw in Brooklyn, NY on November 11th with Patti Smith and Lenny Kaye and they can be found at MySpace.