The angel of illness arrives during the Lady Uno Concert. Her melodies come from whale songs. She says she casts spells and as I grow more nauseous I think she meant that literally. I excuse myself and go throw up. Food poisoning? Criticism should not acknowledge the limits of the critics body, I tell myself. But my body has a different idea. Uno Lady has a small podium with purple lights which she sits behind. The faint outline of a projector outlines the wall behind her.
She’s been doing this for a while, somebody whispers to me.
She describes herself as a “one woman choir” and the description seems apt. Have you ever had a moment when you know you’re watching a star? I don’t mean a celebrity. I mean somebody who pulsates like a light from a very long distance away which may or may not still exist. She loops her voice so tightly there’s almost no room for anything else, which works. The song “Underground,” feels like it could leap into a dance track at any moment but never does. Her lyrical imagery from the natural world combined with a stage presence which relies on skill over affect to compel you to watch join with her commitment to seeing a musical mood to its breaking point. Her material reminds me of a sonic world in between Joanna Newsom and Frank Ocean with a little bit of Joy Division thrown in there, but all happening on Venus. Or maybe just Cleveland in 2017.
I excuse myself, get info from the gallerist about what I’ve seen, and toss and turn under a spell, with a bowl next to my bed just in case it happens again, or I catch some starlight.