Photo by Aaron Sarlo.
Stella Fancy is a seven-piece mishmash of other bands’ members, a Little Rock all-star assembly consisting of players from Moving Front, Knucklewalker, Tokyo Ho’s and Stankflipper. Last night at White Water, the band was instantly likable, reminiscent of a early B-52’s, unbridled with ideas and possibility, yet still charmingly unsure. The music is paradoxical in nature. It sounds infinitely sparse, yet there are seven players on stage. Angst and derision boil out of the two singers, yet they smile serenely at the crowd like Shonen Knife singing phonetically. They played mostly originals; two stand-outs were “Nothing,” which is a Brian Eno wet dream, and “In My Dreams,” a tune utterly unlike its Roy Orbison homophonic counterpart, yet equally as thoughtful and haunting. And clearly in an effort to do something new and interesting, they selected their covers to make even the most jaded audiophile giggle like a schoolgirl. I can honestly say that I have now heard Brazilian uberstar Bebel Gilberto covered, and beautifully. If the songs didn’t say it, if the legion of fans and supporters didn’t say it, and if the little smoke-induced, cancerous buds lining the lungs of last night’s crowd don’t say it, then I will. Keep an eye on Stella Fancy.