counterfnord

Gigs, dance, art

September 26th, 2007: El-P / Buck 65 / Bitchee Bitchee Ya Ya Ya / Smallwhitelight

@point éphémère

If there was any logic to putting these four bands together, it was lost on me. But on the other hand, there’s no need for any. Then again, the audience was receptive to all, so maybe it did make sense somehow.

Smallwhitelight came first. As far as I’m concerned, that was some run of the mill power-pop combo. With that typical british melodic bent. It’s not my thing anymore, and I found the drummer to be grating: most of the time he was just pounding with annoying regularity.

After a short break, it was time for Bitchee Bitchee Ya Ya Ya. Here the drummer was way more interesting, but I only liked a couple of songs. Way too sugary for me. Not as in mellow or soft, but as in some synthetic candy: at first it might be enjoyable, but it gets old real quick for me. Plus the singer’s voice was mixed too low. I often complain about the sound in that venue, and tonight was no exception.

Buck 65 was next, and we finally got into the part of the show I came for. That means Hip-Hop. Which is probably part of my negative approach to the opening bands. Anyway, this guy is really interesting, especially as a producer. He samples stuff that are pretty unusual in that kind of music, which is a very refreshing take. I didn’t care much for his flow at first, but it did grow on me. He even did a little DJing at times, though it was only for short bursts at the end of songs. That was tantalizing to me as I’m a big fan of DJing and I wish there had been more of it. But nonetheless I enjoyed this show. And anyone who covers the Jungle Brothers earns serious brownie points with me.

And then, at last, on to El-P. He had a nice, nice crew, with a second MC, a good DJ and some guy wielding keyboards. Again, I was bitching at the sound, I thought the balance was just not right. Maybe I was not in the best location within the room, but it combined with their pouring in some smoke whenever the DJ took center stage to annoy me. Anyway the set was pretty good. A lot of energy and edge without hostility, which is sometimes a tricky line in that genre. The MCs even left the stage to the DJ at some point, a development which I loved — his use of Radiohead’s National Anthem was a crowd pleaser, and that included me for a change, even though that’s maybe too obvious. There were some gems for me. What I like best is when the different layers are contradictory yet somehow manage to work together. They pulled that off several times.

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September 27, 2007 - Posted by | Music | , , , ,

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