“Just another” utilized the five-piece's full harmonies and had an almost poetic quality to it. One of their faster tunes, “come back” displayed a more 70s, ethereal vibe. TEEN is--pardon the sacrilege—one of our only opportunities to comprehend what life must have been like listening to and worshipping The Doors.
I talked to TEEN after their six-song set about the impact of the keyboard on their sound, and the fact that every member of the band, is a vocalist. “It's a big part of who we are, yeah. We are a singing band, that is who we are and what we want to sound like,” said Kristina Lieberson. When I said that her vocals were reminiscent of Jim Morrison and their sound, very much like The Doors, she laughed. “I've heard that before. I think Jim Morrison was a great singer and I think that I'm a great singer, so I'll take it.” Kristina is TEEN's lead vocalist, who happens to write their songs, play guitar and keyboard. She's certainly their engine, she said she is influenced by a great deal of R&B and soul singers from the 60s. Kristina also plays in Here We Go Magic.
TEEN is a fun band, the kind you almost don't want to get signed or become some musical behemoth, simply because they're yours. They smile at you at their shows, they take down their own gear and they wear high-heels while playing psychedelic and bluesy rock music. While I can't help but wonder if there can ever be more to them, than an overreaching organ sound and a lack of kick-drum, I'm looking forward to hearing more from them.
Pablo Picasso are more refined, with heavy, smoky vocals and a love for reverb. There is a real pain to all of their songs, and I think everyone at Union Pool reduced to a hushed silence to listen to the beautiful, musical torture. It was a rare balance of musicianship with emotion; part improvisation, part regret. They're a band I would highly recommend people see if and when they can.
Finally, the main act, Cliffie Swan entered with none of the pomp and circumstance of band that combines 70s disco-funk with what can only be considered, Björk-like tendencies. Even past midnight, the crowd: a healthy demographic of hipster, scenesters and real artists, bopped and swayed. Cliffie Swan can change their names as many times as they desire, their fans will follow. And hopefully, they will continue to bring talent like TEEN and Pablo Picasso with them.