Last Night: Solange at Fitzgerald's
Solange has a famous sister. You've probably heard of her; both women grew up around here.
And now let that be the last time we mention the elder Knowles sibling, because her younger sister is definitely on some different shit.
In her half-decade and change as a recording artist, Solange has publicly cultivated an interest in indie music and a bohemian lifestyle, to arrive at a persona somewhere between Erykah Badu and someone even freakier, like Björk. She's more of a space cadet than an Earth mother, befitting an artist (make that capital-A Artist) who counts a song called "Cosmic Journey" in her repertoire.
Tuesday night at Fitz, her first public performance in Houston since I can remember, Solange and her band played a solid hour of the artiest music I have heard in a long while, a highly stylized blend of electro-pop and postmodern soul -- or R&B with all the gospel surgically removed and strains of classical and jazz implanted.
The songs were loaded with pillowy Eno-esque synths, splashes of piano, electronic drums, robotic bass, a couple of rather obvious nods to Michael Jackson and Prince, some reggae beats, and Solange styling herself as both seductive and mysterious, a girl next door with a lot on her mind.
There was a lot going on, but when it worked, the set found a slippery groove that would have mellowed out Mattress Mack circa 1983. (Someone should be fined for not scattering votive candles around the stage; perhaps they forgot to retrieve them from the basement.) Her singles "T.O.N.Y." and "Losing You" stood out the most, thanks to stronger melodies than usual, and a reggae-pitched cover of Selena's "When I Fall in Love" struck a heartfelt note in an evening of artifice.