Juana Molina has charmed Boston. Well, maybe about 200 of us. This eclectic, alternative Argentinean musician came to a half-filled Sinclair last night to spill her music out onto the crowd.
Maybe it’s the hair. Her waist-length, wavy muted brown hair is hard to forget, especially since she rocked it so well in her simple black shirt and knee-length black skirt. Did I mention she’s in her fifties?
But no, it has to be the music. Juana started out as a comedian, but I think she found her true calling in music. Even the way she spoke to the audience into the microphone, playing with the words to make them into beats, reflected the way she makes music, transforming sounds into songs. Juana’s certainly on the alternative side of alternative, and not for everyone. But she makes you wonder how she thought it all up when the combination of her guitar, interesting rhythm sections, vocal loops over loops, and harmonies with the keyboardist all materialize into a song. Her musician’s ear was clear when she took a long, relaxed pause to tune her guitar, during which she once again played with her words to say “oh my gosh” in such a high-pitched voice as to make the audience laugh (so no, she hasn’t lost her comedic touch either).
Or maybe what really charmed us was the band. The drummer on her left scrunched up his face every time he got to a good part, and the keyboardist to her right alternated between giving adoring looks to her, sticking out his tongue playfully at the drummer, or smiling like he was having the time of his life. Their camaraderie was quite a contrast from the opening band, St. Nothing, who despite their good music, failed to show that they were enjoying themselves on stage.
Whatever it was, Juana Molina and her band easily generated an encore. Just please don’t be scared away by her creepy video: