Gigs, dance, art

May 20th, 2008: To Live And Shave In LA / Allun

@instants chavires

The opening set was kind of a disappointment. Allun features Stefania Pedretti, member of Ovo, and I was all the more interested in that other, older, project of hers because I had actually liked her cooking performance last year — I would probably not go again, but I enjoyed it. Not very interesting for me, maybe I’ve heard too many toys lately, and her daughter-of-the-cookie-monster voice tricks had the unfortunate side effect of reminding me of Ovo. I just wish the music had been more assertive.

No such qualms about TLASILA, Tom Smith is charismatic enough to dispel any just sound checking. Four different personalities and even though each was clearly doing his own stuff, it all fell in place somehow. I felt the vocals and drums provided a primal appeal, while the laptop/electronics and that weird contraption — more on that later — brought a welcome depth and richness to their sound. That weird thing was played by a guy sitting on the stage, and had me curious enough to make a couple of quick raids to the front. He was sliding longish cards through some machine, I think each had a strip of tape pasted at the bottom. So I guess that would be an analog cousin of a sampler. He sometimes let the cards slide through on their own, but often delayed or hastened their movement. These were short, a few seconds each, so he was really active selecting cards and putting them through. I had a hard time hearing some of these, but I liked the effect of those I did hear.

But that’s not that relevant anyway, what matters most is that I really liked the music, it was so interesting, with a lot going on and a striking cohesion despite the differences. I know I wrote that earlier, but that’s rare enough to warrant repeating it. The mere presence of the vocalist played a huge part, but I felt it was a structure that was nonetheless balanced, and that would have collapsed in a hurry without any of its part. Even though it wouldn’t, it would have been a different one, with the fluctuating lineups within this collective. I was pretty excited about that gig because I loved their sessions on the station, and they sure didn’t disappoint: it is indeed much better to experience this directly.


May 22, 2008 - Posted by | Music | , ,

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