A Trace of Grace

LightAsylyum01

Saturday, fans of Grace
Jones gathered at the Brooklyn
Museum on a crisp sunny
afternoon to listen to two up-and-coming bands pay tribute to the legendary
diva. The Black Rock Coalition presented
“A Strange Case of Grace”
in conjunction with the BMA’s ongoing exhibition Who Shot Rock and Roll. The exhibition sets
a small room aside where sexy mock ups from Grace Jones’s Island Life album hang. The room also features an 8-minute version
of Jones’s live performance “One Man Show,” directed by Jean-Paul Goude. Grace
was gender-queer before gender was queer.

The
tribute featuring Light Asylum and BiLLLL$ didn’t just rock out covers of
Jones’s hits. Instead they gave the audience a trace of Grace. Light Asylum (above) opened and their performance was …
well … um … dark (see below). I don’t mean the mood of the post-punk duo but the stage setting.
With the stage lights down and no spot, it was hard to see lead-singer Shannon
Funchness belt out a brooding contralto reminiscent of Grace. The lively “Dark
Allies” and more somber “Shallow Tears” conjured Grace circa Warm Leatherette. BiLLLL$ finished off the tribute performance with a geek rock
deconstructionist mash up of some of Grace’s greatests like “Feel Up” and “I
Need a Man.”
The cerebral synthesized grooves had heads nodding and thinking.

LightAsylyum02

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