Monday, May 10, 2004

You brought me back to the light, man.

The words melted from my mouth like goopy-hot american cheese. But it was true. I actually felt something worth feeling. Had had a rather bleak couple of days before I made the long drive Denton way to catch Six Organs of Admittance and Cerberus Shoal at Hailey's. To add fuel to the fire, stopped off in Louisville and saw my pals G and J, smoked a B before headin back up the R to li'l D, and they of course failed to mention how I-35 had night construction which would add a solid 45 min's to what should've been a 20 min drive, but c'est la vie!

Arrived at the club after midnight to catch the last half of Cerberus Shoal's set: fuckin' wiggy! I described them recently as Zappa freak jams with early Fripp/Eno soundscapes interlaced throughout, and I'd have to say I nailed it. On stage, there's a bunch of hippies and indie cowgirls in all sorts of loud outfits, playing everything from pump organ and handdrum to double bass and guitar. Here is a fine example of a band whose lunacy does not overshadow its musical prowess. Bewildered and stunned with much satisfaction before it's over.

The second tragedy of the night came in realizing that Six Organs had opened the show--I had in fact missed them (him). I went to the merch table, bought a copy of the new For Octavio Paz CD just issued on Holy Mountain, explained my plight to the merch girl only to realize later that Ben Chasny was sitting right beside her and I totally ignored his ass (accidentally). BUT, I did say what's up a bit later, and learn that he's going to head two blocks down the road and play an impromptu set (at 1:20 in the AM mind you), just for those of us who were stuck in that traffic jam and arrived late. This is where I take a minute to say how cool Ben Chasny is, how sweet and down to earth this mystical troubadour is, and how I'd happily buy him a beer one day (which I did last night actually). His music repairs frayed ends. A dog named Skillet wanders into the frame (the dog ploy fails to get Jeff, its owner, laid). The set is about 35 mins, starting with instrumental ragas like those found on Octavio Paz. Thinking the Fahey comparisons are becoming more apt and valid, but this guy still has an incredibly unique guitar sound. Lots of past masters pop in the brain space (Basho and Renbourn among them), but when I watch him massage those strings and coax that soul juice from his body and the guitar's, the two melt into the same corpus. I feel a sense of harmony and contentment that seems almost new again. I know Six Organs' music is often considered somber and downcast, but this night is celibratory, and apparently one of Ben's favorite sets so far this tour. I want to move to Toronto: Apocalypse Inevitable.

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