23.10.2011, Words by Ruth Saxelby

Ryan Power

Through an unmarked metal door on South 2nd Street in Williamsburg, just round the corner from stalwart warehouse venues Glasslands and 285 Kent lies the markedly cosier Death In Audio. It’s deliciously skanky inside, the walls covered in murals, graffiti and stickers etc, all that stuff that catches your eye and makes you wonder for a second. Projections of safari animals stalk across the wall behind the low stage. People go back and forth to a second room to buy beers and smoke cigarettes. It’s a little after 9.30pm and the first live act at the Software and NNA Tapes unofficial CMJ party tonight is Vermont oddball Ryan Power. He stands in front of the stage, mic in front of his bushy beard and sings to a backing track of beats and Casio melodies. He comes across somewhere between a Beat poet, a deadpan comedian and a mournful, early 90s soul singer. His singing voice is really very lovely and reminds me a little of George Michael. (Especially on this one). Later, lyrics like “You look really cute / but I am not in the mood / to complicate my heart” confirm he has that wry-but-warming thing down to a fine art. It’s a really touching performance: very human, very real. He’s got a spark, has Ryan Power.

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