Little Helen Rose, "Live At The Monkey Room" (Self-Released)

Jenny Bernardi

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Cursed saxophone music played by small Chihuahua

If any of you are familiar with the early 2000‰’s cartoon Courage the Cowardly Dog, you would understand the reference I was trying to make within the slug. In the show, a recurring character was Shirley, a Chihuahua who could place hexes on people by playing her cursed saxophone. The saxophone that is present in Little Helen Rose‰’s Live at the Monkey Room and Shirley‰’s sax sounds EXACTLY the same. Like, seriously. It‰’s absolutely uncanny.

All obscure cartoon references aside, this short EP is a firecracker of bluesy bayou fun. It opens with “Trouble Holding Back‰Û, where Little Helen unabashedly declares her problem of keeping her opinions to herself; all the while the saxophones blare relentlessly. A highlight of the four songs is “Mississippi Moon‰” (or should I call it a lowlight?), a darker, quieter piece that would be perfect for walking through corn fields in the fall late at night. Live at the Monkey Room ends in the fiery climax that is “In My Time Of Dying‰Û. The saxophones are back, and so is Rose‰’s feisty attitude. She belts, she agonizes, she shrieks in a total catharsis of a deep-seated fear of mortality, and it‰’s awesome.

RIYL: Gin Wigmore, Modest Mouse, Wild Belle

Recommended: All of it. Just listen to all of it.

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Little Helen Rose, "Live At The Monkey Room" (Self-Released)