MUSIC

The British band Hot Chip did an early show at the 9:30 club on Saturday. Later in the evening, Greenbelt's own Mya took the stage with a retinue that seemed as big as the audience.
The British band Hot Chip did an early show at the 9:30 club on Saturday. Later in the evening, Greenbelt's own Mya took the stage with a retinue that seemed as big as the audience. (Hot Chip, By Jason Manning; Mya, By Sheryl Nields)

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Monday, April 23, 2007

Mya

Plenty of pop musicians are still getting their feet wet at 27, but Mya Harrison is already staging a comeback. Ten years into her career, the Greenbelt-raised singer still has the pipes, the moves and the looks -- but can we please give her some elbow room?

Surrounded by a fleet of dancers and backup singers at the 9:30 club Saturday, the platinum-selling R&B star found herself in desperate need of some Mya-space.

As for the rest of the club: not so crowded. After an opening set by rap duo Clipse, the audience thinned out, leaving Mya to perform for a couple hundred fans. (Sad that millions will devote themselves to a TV show that showcases some truly wretched singing, while a bona fide American idol can't even play to a full house in her home town).

The overcrowded stage and under-crowded dance floor didn't stop Mya from throwing her cotton-candy croon and effortless dance steps into "Girls Dem Sugar" and "My Love Is Like . . . Wo."

Cuts from her forthcoming album, "Liberation," made for a surprising highlight, even if they felt a little trapped in the past. "Ridin' " skittered like a Destiny's Child tune, while "I Am" summoned the fire of early Mary J. Blige.

Closing the show with "Lady Marmalade," (her 2001 Grammy-winning collaboration with Christina Aguilera, Missy Elliott, Lil' Kim and Pink), the singer flashed her gorgeous, crescent-moon smile at the remaining cluster of fans.

Grin and bear it, Mya. The comeback trail has to start somewhere.

-- Chris Richards

Hot Chip

Hot Chip's brand of pulsing, soulful electro-rock is perfect for an hour when there is just a hint of daylight, so 5:30 a.m. would be a much better fit than 8:15 p.m., which is when the British quintet took the stage Saturday at the 9:30 club.

The timing may not have been ideal, but the group still managed to whip up an appealing blend of laid-back grooves and irresistible rave-ups that had many in the crowd letting loose despite the early start.


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