Amid the many holes of mini golf making up Holocene's fourth annual Minigolf Art Invitational, French expat Tender Forever got into her groove via laptop and ukulele Tuesday night. Beginning inside of a rectangular area cornered off with the help of the elastic bands that airport security uses, Melanie Valera made the most of the small space by interacting with the audience with head taps and leaning into them before making her escape. First she attempted a couple holes. Instead of going the mutli-tasking route of holding her mic while taking a swing, she reached out for an audience member to assist and act as a human mic-stand. Crafty! Another instance of craftiness? At one point she accidentally spilled a beer, but instantly replaced it with one from her rider while explaining that it was an easy swap because she really doesn't like beer. Drunken mutiny evaded!
Complimenting Valera were rambling, but totally endearing stories (including one about Beyoncé) and the low-fi dance songs she's made of plus a host of covers on the ukulele. After performing her ukulele and vocal take on Justin Timberlake's "My Love" and receiving a request from yours truly for more covers, she transitioned into a Cody ChesnuTT tune and Cher's "Believe," but not before a hilarious claim about how she should just abandon her own self-expressions to cover other artists'. While her covers do take the cake, her own tracks—like the bouncy and funny "How Many"—hold up just as well. While Khaela Maricich's (the Blow) absence has surely been felt, if anyone can fill the hole (golf pun intended) of an unaccompanied women telling stories and singing personal tunes to unimposing beats, it's Tender Forever.
Tender Forever plays a benefit show this Saturday the 28th with Mirah and Calvin Johnson in Olympia to benefit her mother's house recently destroyed by fallen trees in the South of France.
Tender Forever's Video for her "My Love" cover
Photos by Nilina Mason-Campbell