Gigs, dance, art

May 23rd, 2009: Opera Mort / Talibam! / Mesa Of The Lost Women / Bülanz Orgabar / Erik Minnkinen / Damien Schultz


Maybe that computer crash was some kind of karmic payback for my lack of focus that day, as I managed to be enough of a chatterbox to miss the whole of the set by Keränen with Evil Moisture. And half of Erik Minnkinen’s as well.

First things first, a shout out to who made this happen.

Damien Schultz went first, and even though I liked the previous time I’d seen him better, I think I now found a way to get it. I kinda ignore the words — though that’s hard at times because of the tricks he plays with those — and take it as some rhythmic music. And it’s pretty good. I came back into the room about halfway through Erik Minnkinen‘s set, so I missed a lot. More expected than the last time around — with the radio — but still good enough to make me mend my ways — and mentally kick myself — and make sure I’d not miss more of this show.

Bülanz Orgabar were in surprisingly efficient mood. That set was quite different from the other times I heard them, in that they sounded closer to a regular experimentalish band. That’s still far from mainstream, but the lack of surprises was the main surprise, and I missed the way they can as it were fall yet hit the ground running, taking a leap of faith out of whatever is closer to safe in their book.

Mesa of the Lost Women had brought along Jac Berrocal and Cathy Heyden. I had never heard of Cathy Heyden, and I really liked her play, maybe not matching the core duo in pure energy but just as intense and more interesting for me. Jac Berrocal was his usual self, which these days tends to be overacting the drunkard part, but just when I gave up on him he would rise and let out something spot on and arresting. That not only shows that trumpet is not a prop, but that he had been listening all along. I just wish he would cut a little on the side show, because as good as some of his burst were, he could easily have brought more, and the act did get stale a while ago for me.

I really liked Talibam! this time. They were on their own, and pretty much did their thing, but there was something more than their usual intensity. It’s been a while and even then I would have been unable to say whether that something is a richer music or being more in tune with the place and audience. Probably both, as my main gripe with them so far had been that it sometimes sounded like a well defined and somewhat closed system, and now I think they seem confident enough to bring other stuff in, and to adapt their game plan to whatever is around, both in terms of setting and people around them. Maybe hearing them play with Chatham and Pauvros just made me pay attention to something that had been there in the first place, it’s probably actually a bit of both.

To top it off, Opera Mort. And top it off they did. Totally my favorite set by them, and also of this show overall. The right thing at the right time in the right place. It was intense, driven, and just plain fun. I was about to say “I think they finally made good on their talk about bringing it on”, but that’s totally off the mark as far as I’m concerned. It just feels wrong, because “think” is quite alien to my actual experience just then; “enjoy” would ring truer, but it just falls short. It was an exhilarating experience, with stress on “experience”. Which I hope I’ll be able to do again soon.


May 29, 2009 Posted by | Music | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

May 22nd, 2009: Matmos / Fraction

@café de la danse

A major computer meltdown in these very busy days kept me unable to write early enough, and the accumulation of other stuff means my memories are already not so crisp. So it’s gonna be a short one.

A single guy on laptop, Fraction had his moments, especially in the second half or so of his set. I thought the first half remained too long on the same ideas, so it got a bit stale after a while. But I did like the second, it felt just more diverse and with some real creativity at work. I don’t remember anything specific by now, but I had been slipping close to boredom and that brought me back firmly.

Matmos delivered a great set, again managing to balance interesting intricacies with an appealing rhythm and of course arresting samples and sounds. The gimmicky concrete moment used a twelve sided dice — appealing to my inner nerd — and was predicably good. This was my fourth time seeing them live and possibly my favorite, maybe because I had kept track lately and it all sounded new and fresh to me. I’m not sure that the venue was all that appropriate though. Their music does have a brainy side, but those seats quickly felt like a nuisance, because there’s a more immediate physical side to it as well, and I think it’s just as strong. These guys are proof one smart and cool are not mutually exclusive.

May 29, 2009 Posted by | Music | , , | Leave a comment