Shilpa Ray / Panda House / The Luddites
Shilpa Ray is a wailing, fire breathing Cyclops. She tornadoes everything in her path: small towns, big cities, and children’s dreams.
Nobody grows up wanting to be an artist’s artist. Appreciated by the sub sect of the sub sect is like being the beauty queen at the leper colony. Hell, anybody who claims they grew up wanting to even be an artist rather than an astronaut or a Cthulhu is probably lying or was a corny kid. Art is hard and degrading and generally bullshit. Your friends will find you irritating and your parents will certainly not throw you a parade. But if you’re an artist you’re an artist; the soul will fuck you every time, what can you do?
Shilpa Ray is, through no fault of her own, one of our unsung great artists. Having made her bones with the gothic Sturm und Drang of Beat The Devil and moving forward to the blues erosion of “…and The Happy Hookers” Shilpa Ray has been, armed only with an incomparable voice and harmonium haunted by the ghosts of dead lovers, perpetually crying in the wind, hoisting both middle fingers in the general direction of god. It’s not a life a wise man would choose. Shilpa Ray kicks against the pricks but the pricks keep coming. But, again, what can you do?
Panda House: Metro Detroit indie-rock band meeting at the intersection of art and music.
The Luddites are an 11 piece folk orchestra that redefines the image of acoustic music. The Luddites take their name from a rabble of desperate English textile workers who, in the earliest days of the Industrial Revolution, took to smashing factory machines in an effort to preserve the ideals of humanity and craftsmanship. Today’s Luddites are no less rebellious, shunning electronic trappings and embracing all things wood. Equipped with an arsenal of string’d, skinned, and reedy things they play original music that mix-matches folk, rock, zydeco, calypso, klezmer, ragtime, and Bourbon Street swing. They are often silly, sometimes sobering, always very, very entertaining.