Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Some Live Aktionz
Made it out to a few sweet shows this past week, including Woven Bones and Tinsel Teeth (at Brofest). I hung out for a little more action (including Naam and White Mice), but didn't really feel like watching 10 plus bands straight through on a Sunday, so bailed pretty early. That's right, no Sleepy Sun. No Liturgy. The horror (or non horror as it were). I'm sorry I missed Liturgy actually but also have a feeling their brutalistic blackened onslaught might've been the death of me. Old fart right here. Tinsel Teeth's singer (TT is a hXc noise rock nightmare with a small female screamer on vox) stripped nearly to nothing but bra and torn tights and screaming in the faces of/collapsing on various audience members was both hilarious and kind of pitiful to behold, as I'm sure was the intention. She came off like a rape victim trying to get anyone to call for help, or maybe the last survivor from the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre just after she'd jumped out of the window and finally made it out to the highway. So, naturally, when she slammed into me, I did my Kung-Fu Panda SKADOOSH thing and she flopped right off the belly and smacked the floor like a fish. I went to help her up, but some valiant buck beat me to it. Tinsel Teeth provided one of those what-the-fuck(?) train-wreck type live experiences that left me wondering if people too often confuse creative expression with seething, mutilated rage. Regardless it's neat to see all the hipster stoics in their tattered hoodies holding their own like billiard pins in the wake of her elephantine bumper-car angst. Woven Bones were less...complicated. Minimal bass/guitar grooves with reverb-drenched vox and a cute lil Mo Tucker chick w/ glasses smacking the snare and floor bass (no cymbals per Mr. Reed's instruction), and though they sadly did not play "Let it Breathe" from the Janie 7", I was still adequately rocked 'n' rolled in a Wooden Shjips meets early JAMC kind'a way.
Blissed Out and local mellow psych merchants eyes, wings and many other things rounded out the bill. I guess I arrived too late for Rene Hall, but Blissed Out brought their big fuzz/beat driven sonics down on the Lounge like a thousand com satellites crashing to Earth at once. Maybe I just don't do enough drugs anymore to really enjoy these subliminal noise barrages, but it made for an agreeable background whitewash while smoking cigarettes and sippin' mixed drinks on the porch. Headed upstairs for the bird's eye view of Wet Hair, Shawn from Night People/Racoo-oo-oon's (rip) new-ish duo project of banks of synths with live drums and echo-drenched vocals. Three long tracks ranged from gooey glowing dollops of Spacemen 3 worship to further refracted beams of syncopated beats and komische drones. Pocahaunted (who I'd not seen before) were operating in a slightly more conventional mode with the release of their rockin' new Not Not Fun platter, Make it Real, featuring some real eye-popping cover art to go with its groovy Raincoats-gone-West-Coast-psych vibe, and live these three ladies and two lads are a sight to behold. Musically we got grooved out goth rainbow trances and methodical tribal rhythms graced with ceremonial war paint and sparkly sequined wraps and gowns. I was reminded of the incomparable awesomeness of The Spires That in the Sunset Rise with less witch and more squaw, but as the wording suggests Pocahaunted aren't exactly up to the Spires comparison just yet, but at least they're reaching and in the process teaching.
Then just this past Saturday made it out to the Phoenix Project for a night of jazz -- two performances, one a quartet the other a trio. The quartet of Norwegian bassist Ingerbrigt Haker Flaten (also of The Thing with Mats Gustafsson), Stefan Gonzalez (drums), Jason Jackson (sax) and Nick Cabrera (clarinet) started with the revered bassist playing upright acoustic for half the show, then plugging in the electric for a while. The brass players were a bit more low-key and distant beneath the Haker Flatten/Gonzalez rhythmic low end, alternately punctuated and robust and flickering like a prairie fire in the wind. The final track with Inger on electric bass went deeper into mid '70s Kraut fusion territory and pulled me in nicely. The closing trio of Vancouver's Gordon Grdina on guitar and oud, Haker Flatten on bass and a phenomenal Canadian percussionist whose name I can't find (bad!) offered more trad swing interspersed with stellar region string eruptions that tempered the primal rumbling builds of Sonny Sharrock with the gale force winds of Sonic Youth. Every player in this trio delivered stunning, world class performances that kept me tuned throughout on a sonic level and completely fascinated in terms of physical dexterity and observational telepathic precision. All in all, another memorable night of world class jazz at the Phoenix Project here in Big. D.
Posted by Lee at 1:50 AM