Alexx Calise can’t wait for Halloween. With red streaks running through her hair and heavy black eyeliner, you might think she’s vamped out early. This year however, the thrill of October 31st is not in the costume.
For Calise, it will be in the excitement of releasing the Sound of Cancer debut album, ‘No Vampires in Gilroy.’ SOC is the collaboration of Calise and drummer Dennis Morehouse (who also plays for Gilby Clark, and Braw), which puts forth haunting choral melodies against dark soundscapes textured with a bit of everything from soulful blues to grunge metal.
Sound of Cancer is rumbling on the horizon, yet for now Calise sings in support of her own songs, mostly taken from the 2010 rocktronica album, ‘In Avanti.’ Calise is joined by drummer Morehouse and a couple other bandmates for a 9pm set, one of several by various bands playing this intimate bar/stage venue located on the second floor of The Roxy on Hollywood’s Sunset Strip.
Calise opens her hour long set with the defiant lines of “Break Me.” If you’ve seen the video, you might recognize the animated persona that comes through on stage. Her large expressions are nearly theatrical, yet her lyrics genuine, as she sings, “F*ck you, I won’t say sorry for being who I am.” After another rock song to rev up the crowd, Calise softens into her Alicia Keys style vocals accompanied by piano in “Out of Sight.”
Now relaxed, Calise speaks freely to the cluster of fifty or so fans gathered. “This one’s about an asshole,” she says, introducing the drum-punctuated self-justifying “Good Enough.” “This one you might have heard on ‘Dance Moms’ – maybe,” she says, introducing “Cry.” Perhaps, but this crowd doesn’t really seem like the type to watch a Liftime reality show featuring children’s dance careers and the moms who support them, so…maybe not. No matter. Calise’s gorgeous vocals pour forth in this soulful song, saying, “I don’t wanna do anything but cry,” a sentiment accented by Morehouse’s beautifully shimmering cymbals.
After the mourning, hope returns with some feel good rock. Then comes the single, “Morning Pill” and Calise is animated once again, finishing with her final rocking statement, “Don’t let this be the last song.” With the Sound of Cancer release just a couple weeks away, we have lots more Calise to anticipate.
Out of Sight
See You Again
Get Used to It