photo by Tim Summers

photo by Tim Summers

I’m a sucker for the psychedelic diva freakout. Mix that with some Amanda Palmer/Dresden Dolls goth, Rob Zombie ghoulish humor, witchy Stevie Nicks magickal womyn energy, Trent Reznor showmanship, underwater archetypal Teutonic mythology, beats, analog loop and sample pedals and some beautiful vocals and you’ve got something approximating the “one-woman wall of sound” created by “electro-sorceress” Faith Helma in Hand2Mouth’s song cycle Undine, currently playing at the Ontological.

Despite the occasional narrative missteps and awkward moments (was that sincere/ironic? sincere/sincere? ironic/sincere? ironic/ironic?) what was obvious was Ms. Helma’s talent and presence.  She’s very engaging and commanding as a performer and shows a lot of promise. There is a change in persona towards the end that is downright creepy and pretty darn cool (the Rob Zombie part). I didn’t mind the lack of overt narrativity – its a song cycle and a surreal one at that – but the show seemed a bit uneven. I found myself wanting a bit more precision in the transitions, a little more character development and a little more rigor. The night I was there the crowd was small and I definitely wondered what it would be like to see the show in a packed club. I think with a really hot audience the show – and Ms. Helma – would really come to life and be the thrill ride it is meant to be.

So go check it out, don’t be afraid to laugh and get into it, she’s a tough cookie and she knows how to handle a microphone.


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