August 1st, 2007 |


Pehrspace was no longer an art gallery, but an escapist world of crimson shade. The audience, composed of freaks and indie squallers, sat painfully through solo acoustic sets of singer-songwriters who couldn’t sing or write songs. However, through the draining pile of mumbled words and rants about fragility and love came Jasmine Wagner, who calls herself “Cabinet of Natural Curiosities.” Whether she knew it or not, she gained the crowd’s attention. Jasmine didn’t just sit strumming chords telling you forgettable stories; she physically put you inside of her music. Blending field recordings of the outside world into her performance, she was able to add to her songwriting, instead of distracting away from it. Not to take away from Jasmine Wagner’s performance, but not one of the musicians that night could remotely fit into the genre of “outsider music.” All of the most famous “outsider” musicians had (or have) extreme psychological disorders, and I can almost guarantee you that the only disorder the musicians that night faced was mild depression. When you listen to performances by Daniel Johnston, and possibly the originator of the genre, Wild Man Fischer, you can hear in their unmistakable voices that everything they say comes straight from their hearts. (DR)