Gigs, dance, art

July 1st, 2008: Sunburned Hand of the Man / Duncan Pinhas

@mecanique ondulatoire

OK so I went back to this place despite their crimes — against the proper serving of Guinness, which is a serious matter — but the lineup was beyond my ability to pass up.

First I was very curious about what Duncan is doing. It came off as a crash course of sorts, I had the feeling he tried to cram too many ideas into that set. Some were actually good enough to deserve a more thorough development, in my opinion. I was a bit frustrated by that, but still came out quite impressed by the potential. Too bad it wasn’t put too better use, but that’s the good kind of frustrating performance, the one that makes me want to come back because of his attitude: many musicians give me this almost-there-but-not-quite feeling, but some seem content with what they’re doing and he didn’t seem to be.

Then there was Sunburned Hand of the Man headlining the bill. I just can’t skip a Sunburned gig, even if that means enduring some poor excuse for a bartender hiding to pour a can into a glass then pretend it’s the real thing. I may be half-deaf, but I do know that sound, man, there’s no fooling me. Come clean and I’ll come more often. Anyway, all this foolishness is more than a bit to delay my coming back to that letdown. It’s all relative, really, but by their standards this was not a good one. I should have known from the lineup alone. Drums, 3 axes, keyboards. Very little fooling around before the end of the set, and musically that was very conventional. Again: by their standards. Which are pretty high as far as I’m concerned. I did have a good time because they did get more unhinged as the set went on. But the first ten/fifteen minutes were really disappointingly straight, run-of-the-mill stuff, and that’s a major letdown coming from them. By the end it was OK, but not as great as I know they can be. I guess they would need some hellraisers on electronics/percussions/stuff for that. The small details — musically — that make all the difference. And why keep the primal mayhem for the end when you can grope your way through from the very onset of a show? I know I’m being unfair, but Sunburned is one of my favorite live bands — fluid lineup and all — and anything less than great is a disappointment.


July 5, 2008 - Posted by | Music | , ,

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