Dirty Beaches Lee's Palace, Toronto ON June 17

Dirty Beaches Lee's Palace, Toronto ON June 17
Steeped in old-school garage and rock'n'roll tropes, Alex Zhang Hungtai's Dirty Beaches has an innate throwback feel, only slightly belied by bedroom beats. Armed with just his guitar, pedals and some pre-recorded soundscapes, he stalked the space like a sleepy hybrid of Nick Cave and James Brown. Sparingly using his one tangible instrument as a great recurring guest star -- think Billy Walsh or Harry the Hat -- he relied heavily on his yelp and lo-fi concoctions. Better suited to a smoky after-hours cavern or a red-lit dive, the shtick struggled to retain attention on Lee's high stage, and a backing band would have help quell the ADD.