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657802 Posts in 9259 Topics by 3396 Members Latest Member: - vlozan86 Most online today: 61 - most online ever: 494 (Jul 01, 2007, 02:59:53 PM)
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Author Topic: more more shows recently attended  (Read 39751 times)
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difficult
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« Reply #450 on: May 31, 2008, 07:46:10 PM »

Bob that sounds fantastic... In the way that the best gigs are usually the ones that no-one else comes to.
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santaclaustral
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« Reply #451 on: Jun 01, 2008, 02:48:13 PM »

Thanks to everyone who said that the John Cage on a train thing sounded like a good idea. I just got back and it was just the grandest day out - will do a full writeup soon.
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santaclaustral
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« Reply #452 on: Jun 01, 2008, 07:15:24 PM »

Fuck it... I'm gonna write this up now before I forget. Apologies if this is just too long but it was six hours of stuff.

So... today I went to 'Take The Cage Train', an event which involved hustling a bunch of musicians onto a train ride from Bologna to the mountains in order to commemorate an event 30 years ago when John Cage hustled a bunch of musicians onto a train ride from Bologna to the mountains. It was a commemoration and not a recreation so the music was inspired by Cage rather than composed by him... I know next to nothing about Mr Cage so I've no idea how successful the event was in this regard.

Bologna Station - 13:45
I arrive at the station and straightaway feel like I've walked into one of those oldtime film reels showing Edwardian factory workers catching the holiday train to the seaside. People are waving Cage Train tickets and running between the not-yet-open train and the start of the platform, where some musicians are wielding horns, flutes, saxes, and a couple of marching band drums in accompaniment to a shimmying castanet dancer. She's great... not wearing any fancy stage clothes, just a black skirt and black Tshirt, grinning without any self-consciousness, and bringing people into the circle to dance with her. One of the musicians looks just like Coldforge. This is very distracting.

I'm a little disappointed that the train is a modern regional train, since Italy has such atmospheric old regional trains with windows scratched into opacity and proper curtains filtering out half of whatever light gets through. But the modern trains have the advantage of not being divided into compartments, which is important to allow the musicians to move through the carriages to play. The luggage rails are lined with cables and there is a tape recorder hanging up in every carriage. A welcome is given over the tannoy and the train begins to move.

On Board
I don't know what I'd been expecting from this event, but I think something with a lot of contact mics taped to the engine and much banging upon the different surfaces of the train carriage... something that took advantage of the sounds of the train. This doesn't happen, except in an abstract way, inasmuch as it's really hard to make joyful sax-led free improv, augmented by loop-loving bassists, and a giant trombone, without things eventually getting all evocative of the clattering energy of trains, which is what, in fact, happens.

I don't have the vocabulary to describe the on-board music, which was played between every stop... I didn't even realise that it was physically possible to get sounds like that out of those instruments, let alone knowing the words to describe them. So the on-board music is just moments without context... everybody cheering at the end of a duel between a saxophonist and a trumpet-player, one trilling and trilling as fast as any violinist's bow, the other spewing out an endless swelling ectoplasm of brass and breath. Watching the bassist in our carriage, here playing the simplest of riffs, now locking his arms around his instrument and letting a percussive frenzy fall, and finally, turning a few dials on one of his pedals to produce a sax-y sound and hitting the loops, everyone outplayed but himself.

Sasso Marconi - 14:54
First stop. The train musicians form a gauntlet along the sides of the small ticket hall, blowing people through with noisy fanfares as they walk from the platform, through the ticket hall, and into the small square outside the train station where I can see a grand piano, a cellist, and a lot of the backs of people's heads. This is the least memorable train stop. It's not that different from the train music, but nobody can see anything.

Vergato - 15:36
A local marching band fans out along the length of the platform, looking very snazzy in a uniform of contrasting blues. They face the train, playing a single note every now and again. I watch the marching band playing their note. They play it again. I hope they will not play this note for the full hour that we are scheduled to be here. They play it again. A fellow passenger grins at me, holds up a glass of red wine, and indicates that more booze is to be found just outside the station. The square outside the station has a little fountain and a long table full of drinks, which volunteers are handing out free to Cage Train passengers. Free prosecco! That's more like it. The marching band make their way to the square and begin playing songs to which I know only the English words, although there are people singing the Italian words... Roll Out The Barrel, I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside. A conga line tentatively forms and then fades away.

The train musicians are chilling out with their prosecco like the rest of us but, after a while, they drift towards the marching band with their instruments. The band leader holds his clarinet in the air as a signal. A grey-haired man on the edge of the circle blows into a steel horn, curled like a seashell. And the train musicians are playing now around the recognisable songs. Then the man with the shell is half-conducting and half-just-outright-dervish-dancing at the marching band, who ditch the standards and come to meet the train musicians on their own ground, jittering and juddering and crashing with the dancing man. It's a big, big sound. Even though this is clearly not this band's usual fare, they really get into the improv and it's awesome to hear. Back to the train!

Poretta Terme - 16:59
Food! Mushrooms! Gli Alpini!

Tables without chairs have been set up outside the station and we line up to receive our polenta with mushrooms, ladled directly into one compartment of a plastic tray, together with a bright red gingerbready cake and a bottle of water. Bottles of red wine await us at the dining tables, where we stand and eat.

The food is served by old dudes wearing green hats with feathers in them. They are the Alpini and, even as I am standing in line waiting for the food, people are breaking out into spontaneous cheers of "Vive gli Alpini!" and "Vive la resistenza!" A girl turns to me and says "that's the trouble with Bologna and living in the city - we don't have the Alpini." She explains that the Alpini are like mountain soldiers or mountain rangers and that, during the Second World War, lots of the resistance fighting took place in the hills and mountains, especially in the north where we are, and the Alpini were heavily partisan. There is clearly a lot of affection, pride and respect for these dudes still and people keep cheering now and then throughout dinner. At the end of the dinner, the Alpini (eight or nine of them) sing some of their songs, unaccompanied, and everyone cheers until they sing a couple more. None of them are great singers, they have old rough voices, and they don't try any fancy harmonies and, of course, it fits perfectly.

We cross back underneath the platforms to exit via the other side of the station where we wait outside a small theatre until the doors open to allow us to take our seats. The train musicians are on the theatre stage, except for a couple who're walking along the aisles, bouncing basketballs. It kinda sucks to see them all lined up for the first time, must be a dozen if not more, and to realise that, with an even gender split in the audience, there's not a single woman on that stage. Oh well.

Like the first station stop in Sasso Marconi, the theatre performance isn't nearly as engaging as the train music, even though it's the same musicians. I guess it's partly that there's a more anarchic and interesting atmosphere created by allowing the musicians to play unsupervised by the curator/conductor on the train (at one point in our carriage, two saxophonists, having blown their guts out playing with the bassist, begged for a break and, when the bassist just grinned and kept playing, they called him crazy and said 'see ya later'). I think also that the train music is so engaging because... the sounds themselves aren't as arresting as the techniques behind them and, on the close cramped quarters of a train, the sounds are separated out and tied to individual instruments. When he's all the way up there on stage, playing with a small orchestra of other instruments, it's hard to believe that it's really the accordion-player getting those sounds out of that instrument. But when he's standing right next to you by the sliding doors of the train carriage and there's just one other musician in earshot, you have to believe it and you have to just fucking light up with wonder to hear it. Back to the train!

Casalecchio di Reno - 19:52
We get to Casalecchio around 8pm. The sun hasn't set but the sky is turning grey and this adds to the trapped-in-a-dream vibe created by the dancers on the platform as we watch them watching us through the carriage windows. I don't know if they can hear music on the platform - we hear only the music coming from the train musicians. No vocabulary to describe the choreography except that, at the end of the dance, they run towards the front of the train, out of the sight afforded by our windows. We see them again only as the train is pulling out of the station... they've slipped into a freezeframe, looking forward in the direction in which our train is travelling with shock on their faces. I wish I could convey quite how disturbingly great this was.

Back To Bologna - 20:05
As we pull into Bologna Centrale station, our carriage bassist finally puts down his bass and lets his layers of loops play on, as he leans back in his seat, arms behind his head, job done. There is much applause and cheering and then, with very little ceremony, we get off the train and go our separate ways. It's only on the bus home that I realise I have spent six hours on a train in Italy without once hearing a mobile phone ringing.

Things I Have Learned
Free improv should always take place on trains. John Cage liked mushrooms. The Alpini are much-loved. It's gonna suck if we have to wait another 30 years to do that again.
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ellaguru
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« Reply #453 on: Jun 01, 2008, 07:32:50 PM »

Oh, man, Grace, that sounds like the best day ever.
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elpollodiablo
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« Reply #454 on: Jun 01, 2008, 07:39:52 PM »

That does sound extremely amazing
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monkeypants
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« Reply #455 on: Jun 01, 2008, 07:45:56 PM »

Oh, man, Grace, that sounds like the best day ever.

Seriously.  Nice write-up, too.   
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Good Intentions
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« Reply #456 on: Jun 01, 2008, 08:11:44 PM »

Remember when you first moved to Bologna, and I couldn't help but yelp with jealousy? Yeah.
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difficult
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« Reply #457 on: Jun 01, 2008, 09:17:24 PM »

Wow Gracetral, that sounds even better than the initial expectation I had - and so full of emotion and love.
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edison
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« Reply #458 on: Jun 02, 2008, 02:56:15 AM »

Oh, man, Grace, that sounds like the best day ever.

Seriously.  Nice write-up, too.   
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Bubbachups
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« Reply #459 on: Jun 02, 2008, 09:32:08 AM »

Oh, man, Grace, that sounds like the best day ever.

Seriously.  Nice write-up, too.   

What they said and then some. Sounds so amazing, it's hard not to be a little bit jealous I guess, haha, thanks for the nice write-up.
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santaclaustral
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« Reply #460 on: Jun 02, 2008, 11:19:26 AM »

Ah, glad you guys enjoyed reading the writeup.
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Antero
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« Reply #461 on: Jun 02, 2008, 11:40:30 PM »

So I helped put together a rock show and it went awesome!

To rep everyone involved, in the order they appeared...

Plan B are an indie pop band.  They played short one guitarist but still put on a great show - one thing that isn't captured in their recordings quite properly is that their drummer pounds the living fuck out of his kit, a really sort of intense, precise, muscular playing.  Great to watch.
http://www.myspace.com/planband

Nick from The Goddamn Shame played a solo set and had a couple of kinks to work out in terms of sound, being as it was his first solo electric show.  The dude has a very strong command of fuzz guitar, and he writes excellent songs.  I'm going to see The Goddamn Shame play as a whole band next weekend, at long last.  I've been trying to since before I was old enough to get into the places they were playing.
http://www.myspace.com/thegoddamnshame

The Loyal Divide are a band that Leopold & Loeb played a show with back in March, and they throw down insanely hard.  It's five guys (two who sing) trading off guitars and drum machines and keyboards and samplers, making this big pulsing dancey psychedelic sound.  Just go see them goddammit.
http://www.myspace.com/loyaldivide

Begin By Gathering Supplies closed things out.  They have a guitarist/singer and a guy working a beat machine.  They shoegaze.  They do it well.  They make sounds I can hear in my organs.
http://www.myspace.com/beginbygatheringsupplies
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Killdozersnakeboy
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« Reply #462 on: Jun 03, 2008, 03:23:38 AM »

So I went to the Knife Fight gig the other night.

First up were the Beanies. Didn't care for them.
The Stood Up played there last show the for at least 5 months and probably ever. They were pretty entertaining in their usual messy manner.

Knife Fight once again blew me away. I've seen them play better but they still brought a massive amount of volume and dirty punk. They have 3 7"s on the way before the ned of the year. I'm happy.

Bloody Souls were they're dependable selves.

The awesomeness struck at the end of the night. Brendan (Knife Fight drummer) and Andrew (Bloody Souls guitar/vocals) reformed The Hasselhoff Experiment for about 25 mins. They played there first show in 10 years or so last weekend in Wellington as a one-off for a b'day party and were talked into doing it up here as well at the last minute. Had a big ol dance i did.

Then things got a bit crazy at various points on K'rd but I somehow made it home in one piece.
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narlus
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« Reply #463 on: Jun 03, 2008, 08:44:03 AM »

X with The Detroit Cobras

click for more:
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sassymcassface
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« Reply #464 on: Jun 03, 2008, 11:45:35 AM »

i saw 65daysofstatic last night.

my brain is still rattled but jesus fuck i have never seen such musical insanity.  it was amazing. 
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Nick Ink
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« Reply #465 on: Jun 03, 2008, 02:40:11 PM »

They have 3 7"s on the way before the ned of the year.



sorry, as you were.
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El_Josharino
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« Reply #466 on: Jun 07, 2008, 05:45:42 PM »

Oh shit guys, Times New Viking are so fucking great. We actually got a freakin' mosh going.
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Trousers and Pat
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« Reply #467 on: Jun 09, 2008, 08:30:06 PM »

Okay I have a little time to kill so I'll tell you all about the Pumice show last week.
It was as I thought across the street from the place where that Kemialliset show was, even if not immediately apparent... eventually the old trick of following some hip looking people walking behind a dark building payed off and we found the place (only after climbing past these old brick structures with strange plants along some silent green-black river).

mmm, anyway BLUE SHIFT started it off well with her frayed violin shredding, slowly building from the pot-luck atmosphere to something more intense... That being XERXES, who segued directly from soundcheck into their song. and this song was a monster of barreling drone-rock: single-minded guitar and viola swarm and bass delay punctuated by drumming something like Om's more active moments. I really liked it, the band name is fitting in a 300 the movie kind of way, this relentless assault, but not as aggressive as that suggests.

after that a set by a violin/accordion duo from vermont somewhere. a kind of gently tweaked paris cafe music sound. Didn't catch their name but they covered a zappa song. fun set.

PUMICE played next, feet on the kick snare and high hat, hands on the little homemade-style guitar difficult was talking about (don't call it a ukulele). He also had a box of cassettes and a tape player that he may or may not have run his vocals through. however he did he got this great unintelligible muffled fuzzy sound. He played a lot of those mumbly crumbly galbraith kind of songs, some rockers, and a long noise piece that eventually became a song. Very cool. bought a rad yellow t-shirt.

I thought he would be last but there was more! GOAT OF ARMS, was an accordion-drums duo with a just-formed-the-band sound, stumbling through little bursts of song in an endearing way.

aaaaand, then MUDBOY blew our minds away. A self-billed experimental organ player, the other songs I'd heard from him were more in that circus/spooky organ vein, but this was a lot more ominous and sedate. He suspended these two little pulsing purple LEDs from the ceiling and turned off all the other lights, so there was this throbbing minimal light show throughout the performance. The first piece started of with sparse kick beat and deadpan vocal (I remember bits like "Mr cotton was a sack of bones / inside the sack of bones it was slimy and wet") but the simple tone gave it this creepy quality. Presumable organ sounds started to pile up with occasional bursts of noise (always telegraphed by this line about some Mozart tape). After a while it settled down a bit and Stefan Neville and the Guitar player from Xerxes slowly joined in for this improv ending with a lot of tapes and who knows which person is making what sound. Then we stumbled out of the building and were harassed by the cop with stadium lights on his car, but whatever. cool show.
« Last Edit: Jun 09, 2008, 09:19:00 PM by Trousers and Pat » Logged

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narlus
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« Reply #468 on: Jun 09, 2008, 10:03:28 PM »

Mudhoney / Cynics in Boston last friday

click on Mark for more shots...
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narlus
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« Reply #469 on: Jun 12, 2008, 10:05:14 AM »

last night i did a two-fer...first was Mark Kozelek w/ Marissa Nadler opening, at the Museum of Fine Arts. when i got there, i found out that Kozelek has prohibited any and all photography, so i just shoot Marissa's set. she's confounded me by having 4 mic stands all around her, each set up w/ a varying levels of delay. she only seemed to use 2, which was a bit maddening. anyway, she's got that eldritch, haunting vocal style, somewhat reminiscent of a younger stevie nicks at times. open-tuning playing, pretty songs. did a cover of 'I'm On Fire' (this seems to be a popular song to cover...over the last year i've also seen Electrelane and Micah Blue Smalldone cover it).

Kozelek gets on stage, along w/ one other guitar player. they play very competently, and mark's got a nice tenor, but the songs are lacking something...i feel that mark eitzel covers the same sort of ground but much more convincingly. worked in a cover of genesis' 'follow you, follow me' which didn't make me like the song any greater. his stage presence was *very* low-key but the audience back-and-forth between guitar tunings was somewhat entertaining...he made an astute observation (well, it's not a novel observation by any means) about what a weird lifestyle being a traveling musician is; drive in a car w/ the other guy for hours and don't say a word, get out and play in front of a few hundred people who you don't know, lather rinse and repeat.

hopped in the car, got lost a bit in roxbury but got over to the Midway in time to see the In/Out playing...good local band w/ strong Fall tendencies. the singer sounds like a sideways-cross between MES and J Richman. The Cannanes get on stage a bit after 11 and play a lovely set of the sort of indie guitar stuff that i love so much, but that seems to have gone horribly out of style...somewhat unorthodox lineup; guitar and drums, but also a singer/keyboardist/flautist, and a trumpet player/singer. great stuff.

i saw my friend Leslie there (ex-Popwatch honcho) and chatted w/ a friend of hers who turned out to be the girlfriend of Tim, the AxCx drummer. he was there as well, and had some interesting stories to tell me about Seth Putnam and being in AC. he got on stage for the Cannanes encore to lend a hand on the maracas.
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difficult
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« Reply #470 on: Jun 12, 2008, 12:21:21 PM »

Ah, the Cannanes! Lovely, ramshackle stuff! Didn't know they were still going...
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Andrew_TSKS
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« Reply #471 on: Jun 12, 2008, 09:09:14 PM »

a cannanes show. that's the last fucking place in the world i'd expect to run into tim morse. how insane is that.
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narlus
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« Reply #472 on: Jun 13, 2008, 02:33:37 AM »

it was pretty surreal, i will give you that.   Smile
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narlus
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« Reply #473 on: Jun 16, 2008, 08:42:15 AM »


Photos and review of the Boston show as seen at The Big Takeover


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dumbfish
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« Reply #474 on: Jun 17, 2008, 12:43:48 AM »

Zoso, a Zeppelin cover band. (A friend's band opened, and Zeppelin was rad.)
They more or less duplicate the originals, for better or for worse. The singer made a comment about trying to be more than that, but I didn't hear it. Besides, ain't no shame in playing a strong "The Ocean."
Visually, it was tough to watch the show and not think of David St. Hubbins et al.
The most interesting part of the show is the crowd they drew-- fratty dudes, fifty-something dudes who are still rockin' the p-tail and their ladies, lonely-lookin' thirty-something dudes (Hi there!) and kinda-sorta metal (the sort that wears shirts for bands I recognize) dudes. In short, dudes. My favorite dude was a fifty-something guy who made the scene dressed as Golf Dad. Tiger Woods polo tucked in, Bermuda shorts, and white sneaks. While the rest of his cohort was trying to bring back the glory days with their faded jeans and black tees, Golf Dad kept it real. Respect.

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