LOURDS at the El Mocambo (464 Spadina), tonight (Thursday, March 29), 10 pm. $35/wristband, $10/door, 416-870-8000; and at the NOW Lounge (189 Church), Friday and Saturday (March 30 and 31), 9:30 pm. $5. 416-364-1301. Rating: NNNNN
it's amazing what even brief ex-
posure to KISS can do to someone. Though classically trained on the violin, NYC-based singer/songwriter Lourds discovered as a kid witnessing the freaky four in concert that there was more to performance than polite recitals in evening gowns.
Today, Lourds's wigged-out apparel generates at least as much ink as her pop/rock songs, which, judging by her indie CD, Limited Edition Basement Tapes, are more straightforward than you'd expect from someone with a profound fondness for eyeshadow.
Chatting effusively from home, Lourds describes her fan base as both rabid and committed to helping her advance her career through word of mouth.
Not surprisingly, she insists that, despite the costumes, the music's the thing. Still, there's little doubt that her look -- and the fact that she's brought a relatively non-traditional instrument to rock -- accounts for a sizable part of her appeal.
Whatever, the strategy appears to be working. "Major labels have shown interest," Lourds says, "But I'm not sure there's any label that would have the heart of my small team.
"And grassroots is how artists should do it. I'm always going to make music, and as long as I see evidence that I'm touching a few people and they're telling friends, I'll carry on -- with or without a label."KH