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Get Gorey with the Tiger Lillies

It shouldn't be surprising that the Tiger Lillies are the recipients of Edward Gorey's creative legacy.

http://www.sfweekly.com/issues/2003-10-29/tudor.html/1/index.html


It shouldn't be surprising that the Tiger Lillies are the recipients of

Edward Gorey's creative legacy. Their critically acclaimed staging and

subsequent scoring of Shockheaded Peter: A Junk Opera , a live

production based on the 1850s book Struwwelpeter , was a macabre and

fanciful tour de force in keeping with Gorey's own aesthetic. In fact,

if one didn't know that the author of Struwwelpeter was a disenchanted

psychiatrist named Heinrich Hoffman, one might bet money that the rude,

disobedient children therein did meet their gruesome ends at the tip of

Gorey's pen. Perhaps this was where Gorey drew his own inspiration, or

perhaps Gorey was, in fact, Hoffman returned to finish the job. It's a

question worth considering given the perfect complement and cohesion of

the Tiger Lillies' follow-up album, The Gorey End. We are not told

whether Gorey saw the stage production of Shockheaded Peter , for which

director and TL frontman Martyn Jacques employed toys, puppets, and an

authentic carnival barker to bring Hoffman's text to life, or if Gorey

just listened to the soundtrack record, which, between Jacques'

strangled falsetto and wheezing accordion, Adrian Hughes' stampeding

spatulas and punished pots and pans, and Adrian Stouts' skulking

contrabass, did well enough to evoke the challenged propriety and

childhood nightmares of the book. Whatever the facts, Gorey recognized

the Tiger Lillies as the aural conjurers and future caretakers of his

artistic argot; he sent Jacques a letter describing the band as the

"cat's pyjamas" and a consequent letter accompanied by a box of

unpublished work, a stone (that looked like a frog), and a saucer. The

result of that shipment was The Gorey End , a collection of Gorey tales

as only the Tiger Lillies could realize them, meaning they are

perfectly and utterly Gorey, silly and sick, slinking out of your

speakers on long spindly legs, yawning with dank and delirious delight.

The Tiger Lillies are joined on this record, and hopefully onstage, by

our own Kronos Quartet, who fell hopelessly in love with the trio

during its last Bay Area outing. The Tiger Lillies perform on

Wednesday, Oct. 29, at Bimbo's 365 Club at 9 p.m. Tickets are $25; call

474-0365 or go to www.bimbos365club.com


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