Off-center indie-folk festival over three nights

It’s likely to be an intriguing series of evenings this Friday, Saturday and Sunday when a guild of off-center alternative acts converge in Athens for the inaugural Lost-In-Thyme festival. Many of the event’s 13 acts billed to perform are concurrent members of the enduring dark-experimental collective Current 93, which had performed in Athens just under a year ago. Members of the collective returning for this three-day event include Baby Dee, a captivating and highly inspired composer of beautiful yet dark cabaret-tinged melodies, or «dirges,» in the artist’s words. A transgender performer whose sexual identity seems unclear, Baby Dee’s piano-and-harp-work-dominated material echoes the likes of acts such as John Cale, Tom Waits, Kurt Weill, and even Edith Piaf. But ultimately, the artist’s material emerges as a highly personal affair. Baby Dee, who has visited Athens twice for solo shows over the past year, will headline the festival’s second night, this Saturday. Also headlining will be Simon Finn, Current 93’s long-serving guitarist who wraps up the opening night with both new and old solo material. Another seasoned act, Little Annie Anxiety Bandez, an underground diva who has been given recent mainstream exposure with a song of hers used by Levis jeans for a television commercial, will bring the festival to an end on Sunday. Julia Kent, a brilliant cellist who is a member of the hugely popular Antony and the Johnsons, and whose collaborations include work with the fascinating neo-folk songwriter Devendra Banhart, will perform solo material from her new debut album on Saturday, right before Baby Dee. Kent will also perform on the final night, Sunday, as part of the trio Blind Cave Salamander, alongside Paul Beauchamp and Fabrizio Modonese Palumbo. It will be a busy night for Palumbo, a widely traveled and ubiquitous experimental musician from Turin, Italy, who will also do a solo show and make a guest appearance with local indie-folk act Burgundy Grapes for their set. Other notable performers include solo work on the opening night from British violinist and flutist Joolie Wood and Swedish pianist Maja Elliot. Both are members of the Current 93 collective. Lost-In-Thyme festival: Friday – Simon Finn, Joolie Wood, Maja Elliot, Defile Des Ames, Sketches For…; Saturday – Baby Dee featuring John Contreras, Julia Kent, Ernesto Tomasini, Othon Mataragas; Sunday – Little Annie Anxiety Bandez featuring Paul Wallfisch, Blind Cave Salamander, Fabrizio Modonese Palumbo, Burgundy Grapes. Ekvasis Art House, 5 Deliyianni, Kallithea, Athens (behind Panteion University). Performances at 9 p.m. Further info: 210.924 5644, 6944.691668.

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