I first got turned on to San Franciscan (by way of LA and Texas) Rykarda Parasol when a friend of mine, Dianna Arnspiger, who has become her manager, posted a video on Facebook and wanted to know what I thought of the song "Hannah Leah." I don't think I have ever seen a video when the singer is ice skating in and out of the stark light. Later, I watched a boho interview conducted with her wearing a sheet in bed, and then I got the Hold Back The Night CD and dug into a dark Texas tale, "Night on Red River." Tom Waits with a whiff of estrogen on the corner of Americana Road and Drama Street, Rykarda calls her music Rock Noir. She is elegant, intellectual, but with the hint of bad girl lurking behind the impeccable image. It is Andy Warhol wild-girl style, yet so restrained, so refined.
Rykarda is also known for establishing The Hive. The secret location art salon is home to lots of underground activity. Most events are by invitation, but some are open to the public. The Hive has featured literary readings, visual arts, music, and fashion. We got a taste back in March during SXSW, when she brought with her Jacob Lehrbaum for backup vocals and violin (he is Senior Product Line Manager for JavaFX at Sun Microsystems!) and they were spare and theatrical. Her latest CD is called For Blood And Wine, and from it is "A Drinking Song" recorded at Threadgill's WHQ in Austin, Texas.
- Jessie Scott