counterfnord

Gigs, dance, art

October 28th, 2007: Sunburned Hand of the Man / The Vanishing Voice / Joanne Robertson / Axismundi / Nawadaha

@les voutes

I actually went to another gig the day before at the same place. I didn’t post anything about that because I was so drunk I don’t remember enough. I faintly remember liking Zenial but almost nothing of that set. The haze lifts somewhat regarding Andrew Liles, but not enough to have anything worth writing. I do remember quite clearly the end of his set when Jac Berrocal joined him. That was good, I remember Berrocal being on the restrained side in a very good way.

Having recovered quite thoroughly from that intentional lapse, I went back to the scene the next day, unfortunately forgetting about the switch out of DST until almost there. No big deal, and instead of hitting the nearest bottle while waiting, I hit a feminist philosophy textbook. I consider that an improvement, but I could be wrong.

The first band was Nawadaha, a voice/guitar duo. Said guitar with plenty of feedback, while the voice was more into melismish pure sound. A really good mesh of sound texture as she has a strong and beautiful voice, but I got bored halfway into their set because they kept doing the same thing. Then again, maybe I was just awakening from my alcohol induced stupor by then, so I don’t trust my opinion. It might work better on record though, maybe that kind of thing is more suitable to being heard alone, outside, in cold weather — which I sincerely hope is on its way.

Axismundi got me thinking about Magic People — who I will again fail to see because of another gig — because of their flute, but soon erased such reminiscing. They also feature a guitar and drums, and their brand of psychish frolicking finally got me out of my half-awake state. I hated some of it, loved some other parts, sometimes both at the same time. Not exactly satisfying, but interesting, and I’d rather have the latter than the former.

Joanne Robertson was looking so stressed out… I guess she was aware of not having her voice at its best, but I was not. It kept reminding me of someone — maybe early Cat Power, but really not — but I soon gave up on that line of thought and just enjoyed it all. The kind of thing Irene Trudel might play, and especially should engineer. I think her voice would be a perfect match for that warm reverby sound. My only gripe with her set was that it was far too short.

After a stand-up act and short movie I didn’t like and so won’t talk about, it was time for The Vanishing Voice. I had never heard of them but a lot of people sure looked more enlightened than me. I soon figured out why, as they were real good. Guitar, voice, synth and/or electronics — I didn’t get tall overnight, so I can’t say for sure –maybe some horn; who cares? What matters is that they put this all to good use, with some great constrasts; they managed to put some noisish dirtiness while sounding almost mellow, and vice-versa. Which isn’t making a lot of sense. But their music sure did. Whenever I thought I had them figured out, they changed something and I kept playing catchup this way, which I liked a lot.

Finally, the band I wouldn’t dream of missing these days: Sunburned Hand of the Man. There were five of them this time, and it was a really great set. They brought some sticks and branches on stage and proceeding to build some fragile structure with these, plastic bags, maps and complete with a plastic horse head mask. That worked as a nice image for their music as well. The first piece was the kind of freeform ritual that makes me love this band, then they went to more mundane pieces — that’s a completely inappropriate word for them, and I just wallow in this fact. Almost all the time, they kept strains of shifting steady — an oxymoron, but that’s what I love about them — rhythmic pounding that sounds shamanistish yet not exactly natural. Elemental. I was completely into this. Maybe not my favorite performance — hard to beat the first time I saw them, or at least my memories of that show — but real close. At the end they went with more dissolving of structures, including the drum kit and the wood tent thing in front, again a physical manifestation of their sound. In that respect I think it might be the best performance of theirs I was lucky enough to get. This band always makes me want to see them again as soon as their set is over, so that wait officially is under way. If I ever get organized enough to go back to Boston, I need to make sure I can catch them over there.

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October 29, 2007 - Posted by | Music | , , , , , ,

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