Late last night Ann, Kim, Rob, Brian S. & I were this close to calling it a night before we poked our heads in the Living Room. There we saw one of the greatest shows I’ve seen in years, The Mystic Renaldo The, fronted by Aldo Perez. How to describe this? Well — what struck me first was this dude Perez looked like the love child of John Waters and Jim Carrey. And was about as funny as both of them. A natural, gifted physical comedian, dude would just kinda make a weird face and crack me up. But his style of performance was so radical, so ten-steps-ahead of itself, that I didn’t so much laugh as sit there with my face frozen in awe. If Lenny Bruce ever decided to do a circus act, this would be it. What did he do, exactly? I can’t even tell you. Some of it involved a talking picture of Vincent Van Gogh. But it was mostly fragments of ideas erupting nonstop. He would interrupt himself because a syllable of one word reminded him of something else. (The word “he” took an unexplained, unexpected left turn into a Native American war chant for a few minutes.) But here comes the surprise. THIS ISN’T A COMEDY ACT. It took me a minute to realize this, but Perez and The Mystic Renaldo The are actually fantastic musicians. They pretty much do one song, then interrupt themselves with shtick (yelling at the drummer, for example) but the songs are fantastic. Perez has a gorgeous, dynamic, rich voice (reminded Ann of Freddie Mercury; maybe so, but less, how should I put this, less gay?) and is a guitar whiz, playing in rock, classical and Spanish modes. He also plays piano, electric bass and sings in fluent Spanish. The band is rounded out by a drummer who maintained an angry scowl the whole time while wearing an absurd bling-bling necklace and a female trumpeter who’s schtick was to look baffled most of the time. Many of the songs were originals — soulful, moody songs in wonderful contrast to the antics preceeding them — but other highlights were a country version of “Walk This Way” and “Stairway To Heaven” as sung by Bruce Lee. Plus one of the more filthy raps I’ve heard (not knowing too much about gangsta rap, I couldn’t tell if this was a cover or not — either way, Perez lost himself in his “Muthafuckers!” the way a tenor would in an aria.) They play again in 2 weeks.
I’m not finding much about Perez on the Web, except for this note about another band, Psycho the Clown.