The Lookout: Trip Hop Asian Music at the Freer

By: Rebecca Shillenn

Need a break from alt-rock concerts and ’80s night at the Black Cat? Slanty Eyed Mama, a trip-hop Asian duo with little respect for traditional culture barriers, is coming to the Freer Gallery of Art’s Meyer Auditorium tomorrow night.  The two women describe their music as ‘Nuyorasian,’ a mix of New York style and Asian flow that blends the spoken word, hip hop, and classical training.  

Lyris Hung (stage name Ly-rock) has been playing violin since the age of three and has played with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Suzanne Vega, and Bono.  She still uses her bow from time to time, but she also plays her violin like a guitar or a banjo.  Her counterpart, lead singer Kate Rigg, known as Lady K-Sian, trained as a classical actor but also considers herself a poet and a comedian.  The two both trained at Julliard.

The women push buttons to challenge typical representations of race, gender and generation through music, freestyling, and dance. It’s possible that Sato, a modern dancer who often accompanies their shows, will be there. Sato uses jazz, modern, go-go, and Japanese dance in her shows and looks a little wild.  Don’t expect the show to be less intense than it might be at a grittier venue: the Meyer warns that this program is intended for mature audiences.

Meyer Auditorium, Freer Gallery of Art
Jefferson Drive at 12th Street, SW
Saturday May 5, 7 pm
Free; two tickets per person distributed at 6 pm