Let me be up front with you. I didn't know that much about Vialka when I was asked to preview its upcoming concerts. I didn't know if the duo was worth our precious money and time.
And if you live in Tel Aviv, the decision is urgent. The show is tonight, Friday, and costs NIS 60/70. Still, it's at Levontin 7, a reliable venue - a cool place that brings cool bands. If you live in Jerusalem, you've got a day's leeway, and a NIS10 buffer: Vialka is playing Uganda Saturday night, for NIS 50.
According to the official biography, "The dynamic duo of Marylise Frecheville and Eric Boros have been lugging their nomadic turbo folk sound and modus vivendi all over the planet since the beginning of the century, originally as the rhythm section of the performance striptease jazz-punk trio NNY, and since 2002 as Vialka."
That sounds intriguing, as does the claim that Vialka resonates with "ecstatic energy, humor, lust for life, and a sophisticated musical language and subliminal connection all their own." The band's tracks, audible at vialka.com, hold up to the hype - marked by Marylise's syncopated drumming and singing and Eric's orchestral guitar playing. If you're still unconvinced, remember that live music transcends the internet.
Catching up recently with Eric via email, while the duo was on tour in Russia, I established that Vialka has played here before - at both this weekend's venues and at Jerusalem's The Lab. The crowds, he said, have been larger in Tel Aviv. Jerusalem, feel free to pick up the slack this time.
The two musicians, who currently reside in a remote village in France, have lived the world over. As such, said Eric, they draw their influences from the global underground music scene.
When asked how he and Marylise keep fit for the grueling schedule of touring and traveling, Eric noted that the two key ingredients are, "Good food and just the right amount of arak." You've got to respect that.
"Vialka is not just a musical project, but a social scientific experiment, attempting to meet, communicate and work with extraordinary and little known musicians and artists from everywhere and nowhere," the biography claims, "with particular interest in polluted dictatorships, bleak colonies, and monarchic democracies." To that end, on the local scene, there is a planned collaboration with Kruzenshtern i Parohod.
I don't know if I'm going to love them, but I am going to check them out this evening, at Levontin 7. They promise something new and unusual and interesting, and that's exactly what I'm looking for.
Vialka plays at Tel Aviv's Levontin 7 tonight, Friday, November 6, at 9 p.m. for NIS NIS 60/70, (03) 560-5084 and at Jerusalem's Uganda, the following night, Saturday, November 7, at 9 p.m., for NIS 50.