Nora Keyes is probably best known for her music work- in The Centimeters.
The music is quite amazing- indie stuff- this is the cutting edge genre- these are the doors, the beatles, the rolling stones, before they made it big.
All those big bands of the future exist today- but they are not yet known. To find these velvet undergrounds, david bowies, tom waits’ of the future- you must look to indie music.
It’s a medal of honor for The Centimeters- that they “fit” so well into the indie genre.
To show an example of “fit”- the only way to understand this is if you have someone you love- that person is a perfect person for you- but is far from perfect. They are simply- perfect- to you.
That’s how bands like The Centimeters “fit” into the indie genre.
Nora Keyes singing is dramatic, it’s theater, it’s beautiful. It’s ballsy- I think. It’s reminiscent of The Dresden Dolls, another spectacular band I adore- my god.. gives me goosebumps- such incredible poetry. Backstabber! Backstabber! Backstabber!
I saw them at The Pudhouse, in Charlottesville, VA. A black market music venue- off the map type of good stuff- no tickets.. just.. magic people- artists, musicians.. working together in some attic to put together shows with these amazing bands, artists.
I was witnessing- which is more appropriate to express the experience of viewing Nora Keyes perform- The Centimeters, in this crouded stuffed up attic with maybe 50 people, beer, and smoke. And I looked aroung in the dark and found a minion selling their music.. I was so taken by what I was seeing, I had just ran back to find where the fuck I could get this music, instantly.
And I got a copy of their album: The Facts of Destiny. Now, I see online that this album is labeled as 2008, but I know when I saw the Centimeters- I was married. And that was *not* two years ago. That was like… shit.. a lot longer.
Anyway- I opened the thing and I was hypnotized by the art of the album for a while, before I went back to pushing myself to the very front- people jumping up and down mad dancing, I just stood there staring- not moving. I wanted to take it in. It’s what I have to do when I hear music, see music, that’s so good- I have to go right to the front and stare- I just forget about everyone else. It’s not that I feel they are playing for me- No- I am only an observer. It’s that I must *see*, carefully. Soak it in.. feel the speakers violate my body because they are inches away from my heart.
And- For months later I was in love with this music, and I pushed it to my friends, especially Rahul Alexander- who is one of the people who have taught me and shown me the most about culture of the world in my life. I was so happy to see that he appreciated it as well as I did. I was proud to finally introduce *him* to something new.
I kept looking at the art on the cd, on the inside.. it was just… It was so beautiful, meaningful. It felt like touching a lover nude for the first time. So personal and careful.
Finally it occurred to me to look to see, who made this? Who made this art decorating the album?
Ha. Nora Fucking Keyes. Wow. Holy shit.
You can see some of Nora Keyes art work at her myspace site. I’m having trouble finding examples of her drawings. I’ll have to get that album- I used to have it here somewhere..