July 26, 2013
Friday night live at Transistor: Randi Russo and Girl Detective. Sound by Jon Monteverde.
There is a toughness and tenderness in Randi Russo's songwriting and performances that has led to comparisons to fellow New Yorkers Lou Reed and Patti Smith. Her songs deliver emotionally stirring melodies, as her "honest, provocative lyrics" (The Big Takeover) cut deep. Her music ignites a fiery sound that can flare up into intense explosions of emotion or simmer with a calm fury. Cynicism meets optimism in her "dark, brooding outsider anthems, [with] brilliant lyrics, casually graceful charisma and a voice like bloodstained velvet." (Lucid Culture)
As a solo artist Randi has released three full-length albums, Solar Bipolar (2002), Shout Like A Lady (2006) and Fragile Animal (2011), and the EP still standing still (2005). She has toured the U.S. and Europe and opened shows for artists like Regina Spektor, Here We Go Magic, White Rabbits, Nicole Atkins and Ida. The Village Voice has said, "Randi's someone to keep your eye on ... all she needs is one gig opening up for someone like Cat Power and her fame is pretty much guaranteed." Randi left New York City for Chicago in the summer of 2012. She is also a painter.
Visit Randi's website: www.randirusso.com.
Also check out the Transistor Session Randi did (as New Missionaries).
Girl Detective is a Chicago duo creating original alternative and experimental music with a lush and cerebral postmodern/alt-rock sound. With "originals that recall Siouxsie Sioux and Depeche Mode" (TimeOut Chicago), the band was formed in May 2010 and consists of Rani Woolpert and Jason Oppman. Woolpert, a visual artist and singer, was looking for a guitarist for another project and found Oppman on Craigslist. Oppman, a composer and songwriter since the mid-'90s, had been seeking a collaborator who shared his musical influences. After hearing his music, Woolpert realized his songs had the sound she was looking for and suggested they work together on a new project. The collaboration started with sending tracks back and forth -- Oppman providing the music and Woolpert writing lyrics and recording improvised vocals on first listen. The duo began meeting weekly in Oppman's home studio in late summer 2011 to build the live sound, while also continuing to write collaboratively in the original manner. Since February 2012, Girl Detective has been spotted at venues throughout Chicago, from Schuba's to Subterranean, Martyrs' and others. They released a debut EP, "Dress and Smoking Jacket," in July 2012, and are slated to release their debut full-length album in 2014.
Find more live performance recordings on our archive page.