Lene Lovich, in her first Washington appearance, had to contend with constant fuzz from a feedback problem that never was solved during her concert at the Warner Theatre last night. As a result, her frisky eccentricity, almost always wedded to a big dance floor beat, only connected with the audience on her two percolating hits, "Lucky Number" and "New Toy."
On both, Lovich's comedically fractious, full-throttle voice, given to exuberant bird-like swoops and swirls, managed to override the fuzz often enough to suggest a combination of Yoko Ono and Grace Slick working over a layer of old-fashioned Beach Boy harmonies, while the band explored percussion-heavy dance rhythms; the mix here was as compelling as it was quirky.
The vocals on "Rocky Road" seemed fashioned after the classic guitar sound of "Apache" and "Pipeline," while "It's You, Only You" provoked images of the Tijuana Brass. In other words, the stew was fine but the pot was leaking.
On "Too Tender to Touch," one of the few songs with a nonfrenetic tempo and texture, Lovich unveiled a husky tone and uncharacteristically sensitive delivery. But more often she confused energy with tunefulness and the recalcitrant technology tended to blur the edges further, so that listening became akin to reading a book with smudged print.