Madame Pamita's Parlor of WondersPerformance artiste Madame Pamita one-ups Jack White for minimalization on her latest release, Madame Pamita's Wax Works. The erstwhile Pamela Moore recorded the album directly onto a wax cylinder, giving her music a sound that hearkens back to the turn of the last century.
The songs are a lo-fi, bare bones antithesis of the slick, overproduced music we’re usually forced to swallow, complete with enough pops and clicks to make you think you’ve accidentally put on one of your grandfather’s old 78s. But while she has taken an extreme retro approach to recording, Madame Pamita puts a modern edge on it by singing about the virtues of sex, drugs, and the power of positive thinking.
Madame Pamita and Peter Dilg spent two days last year recording the 13 songs on this album, “using absolutely no electricity during the process... what you hear is the recording exactly as it was performed, with the same vitality and exciting recklessness of the early days of reproduced sound.”
Madame Pamita live is a combination old-time medicine show and musical performance. She tells fortunes, does tarot readings, and plays a mix of rural blues, jug band, and proto-jazz songs, both original and traditional.
You can download her album at a name-your-own-price cost from her Website (I’m sure the irony’s not lost on her). There are also several other performances you can download for free.
While you’re at her site, there is an interactive talking spirit board page. Ask a question and the spirits will give you the answer. Apparently I will have no romantic luck again this year. And if interactive Web pages aren’t enough, you can also contact Madame Pamita through her site and arrange a personal reading.
The first song, a version of Blind Willie McTell’s “Your Southern Can is Mine,” was traditionally recorded – it’s from a session at KXLU. The second is an example of the Wax Works style. Check this stuff out, particularly “He’s in the Jailhouse Now.” It’s very cool in how retro and minimal it is.
My Southern Can is Mine.mp3
He’s In the Jailhouse Now.mp3