If you're worried Ida Maria is the next in a long line of indie princesses to go "pop" the first time some douchey A&R guy suggests it might be a prudent career move, fear not. As she showed last night in Scottsdale, although "I Like You So Much Better When You're Naked" may well be headed for mainstream success, this gruff-voiced Scandinavian is not Courtney Love, Gwen Stefani or Liz fucking Phair.
Actually, as indie/punk princesses go, she has more of a Kathleen Hanna vibe than anything, even if her much softer (and much more Swedish) style would render such remarks heresy to those who'd argue that it takes more than Maria's punchy songs and grrrly look -- last night she wore a leopard-print slip with no bra or shoes while playing a white strat, held over her shoulder by a skull-print strap -- to earn the comparison.
Still, playing only eight songs is pretty punk rock, and that's what Ida Maria did last night, walking off stage after less than 45 minutes and not returning though the crowd mustered a few semi-intelligible (and multi-lingual) chants. A little disappointing, maybe, but what we did see was plenty impressive.
Though I hesitate to fawn too much over a show that was barely longer than a sitcom, Ida Maria Børli Sivertsen, with her honey-and-bourbon take on the low notes, and speaking in delightfully cracked English between songs, charmed throughout the set. Her band, whose looks didn't quite seem to match what she was doing, also sounded tight. After watching Santigold lip-synch much of her Tucson performance Saturday night, it was refreshing to watch a singer whose natural voice sounds just as amazing live as it does on record.
And, actually, considering I once wrote that Ida, like the wonderful Jens Lekman, is just the sort of Scandinavian pop singer who rarely tours any non-coastal American cities, even eight songs at $12 was a treat.
"Queen of the Night"
"You Keep Me Warm"
"I Like You So Much Better When You're Naked"
"Oh My God"