Shilpa Ray and the Happy Hookers this Wednesday, 1 / 20

19 01 2010

While Cleveland in January is wet, cold, and clammy, we here at the Beachland are pleased to present you music filled with sweet sweat and the howl of heat. And hey! There’s a harmonium involved, too. Which is not the name of a character from a Dr. Seuss book.

Shilpa Ray and Her Happy Hookers arrive this Wednesday, January 20th with a load of ancient musical magic.  The threads of timeless blues and folk shoot through the thumping grooves of this Brooklyn four-piece; even more antiquated and less common is the presence of the curious reed instrument often used in Indian music:

Those with wide-open ears might recognize the sound of this device– not unlike an accordion with a cold–in the spiritual qawwali music of Pakistani Sufi singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.

In the decidedly more corroded and fleshly music of Shilpa Ray and the Happy Hookers, the harmonium wheezes through burly drums and guitars, and moans along with Ray’s voice, itself a thing that doesn’t look like it should be coming from her small body.


Filthy and Free“, Shilpa Ray and the Happy Hookers
“What the F*ck Was I Thinking?”

Her gale-force fierceness, combined with her f*ck-all attitude, brings to mind other rockers such as Patti Smith, Exene Cervenka, PJ Harvey, and even Poly Styrene.  Ray’s got just enough performance art technique lying in her bones, a husky dissonance in her voice, and a venomous sense of humor that starts with herself and splatters on the crowd.  As you can see from the photo atop this blog, much has been made of Ray’s crazy / sexy persona in a live setting.  That doesn’t seem to be the result of forced coquetry; rather, she’s just a girl getting her freak on, doing her own thing.  Which to some, to paraphrase Devo, might be the girl you want.

Opening are locals Chief Bromide and the Formula.  For time and tickets, go to


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