If Frank Black had a fever dream about his personal Last Waltz, with a guest lineup that included Pere Ubu, Talking Heads, Dirty Projectors and TV on the Radio, his dreamscape soundtrack would sound a lot like Landlady. And as you might have guessed from that description, not many groups out there sound like Landlady.
Adam Schatz and his merry band of Rock provocateurs kick up a sonic maelstrom that operates under the broad umbrella of Art Rock, with subtle hints of Afrobeat, Funk, Jazz, Reggae, Doo Wop, New Wave and anything else the musicians feel like shoehorning into the proceedings as long as it effectively serves the song at hand.
Schatz adopted the Landlady moniker in 2011 when he conceived his semi-solo, home-recorded debut, Keeping to Yourself. As Schatz juggled his other musical duties (touring multi-instrumentalist for Man Man and Vampire Weekend, side projects Father Figures, The Shoe-Ins and Zongo Junction), he began to envision Landlady as a full-fledged band and enlisted permanent members to achieve that end, perfectly reflected in the newly minted band’s first group effort, 2014’s diverse and quirky Upright Behavior.
A good part of Schatz’s ambition was his desire to present his Landlady songs in a grand theatrical fashion on stage. Check that one off the bucket list because Landlady’s live presentation is like a meth-fueled, contemporized off-Broadway production of Cabaret. Anyone who witnessed Landlady’s epic throwdown at MOTR Pub during last fall’s MidPoint Music Festival will testify to the group’s live power. Sadly, many missed the band because its slot was almost simultaneous to the buzzed-about set by its pals Rubblebucket (the two bands toured together after MidPoint and recently collaborated on a cover of Nina Simone’s “Be My Husband”).
If you missed Landlady’s frenetic MPMF appearance, here’s your chance to see one of Indie Rock’s most unique and wonderful new acts. If you were at MOTR last September, you’re probably camped out in front of the club already. Bundle up, kids, but fear not; this Landlady is about to turn up the heat.
With Animal Mother. Wednesday, Jan. 14. Free. MOTR Pub, 1345 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, motrpub.com