Gigs, dance, art

May 29th, 2009: Liquid Liquid / Nisennenmondai / Goblin

@la villette

I wasn’t expecting anything from Goblin. I’m not into prog rock to begin with, and I always thought their music the single most annoying thing in Argento’s movies. With expectations that low, I could only be pleasantly surprised. Now that would be an overstatement, but I thought the music was not as grating on its own; still not my kind of thing, but OK. And they were still pretty much on top of their game, which can always be an issue with these old bands. I thought the tunes they introduced as new were pretty bad, pouring on extra layers of cliched buildup to compensate for the lack of images. As if that was necessary. Then again, I wasn’t there to hear them.

I was here for Nisennenmondai, and they easily met my lofty expectations. I loved their gig last year, and Destination Tokyo has probably been my most-listened record since. I think I liked this set even better. A shorter version of Fan, starting with piling up guitar loops only, then joined by drums and finally bass. The familiar Mirrorball, and another I didn’t know — different, with less of a builup of loops but great. I love layered loops, and I love repetitive buildups as in early music by Steve Reich, so of course I drank this up. It doesn’t get much better than this in terms of adding layers and wildness throughout a long piece of music. There’s even more to the guitar than just loops and great sounds though, as once enough of those are in place, she plays around and through those. The bass is rock steady and gets progressively faster, but even though I wish she had joined earlier, I sure noticed when she did — the bass might be a steady pulse at first, but the timing adds more than that. And the drummer is just great, surgically precise and totally wild at the same time. Nisennemondai is definitely one of my favorite bands right now. A good sign is that their merch table was insanely crowded after the show, they probably ended up selling most of what they had brought over for this tour. That’s a good sign for me because that should make them feel welcome enough to come here again in the not-too-distant future. By the way, Fan is an amazing record/track, with a good shot of displacing Destination Tokyo at the top of my playlist.

I probably wasn’t in the best condition to hear Liquid Liquid after that blast. I only knew them from their old stuff, and if anything they were maybe too close to that. Good, but not much change either, and I think there’s something a little too precise and cold to it despite the warm sounds. Most of that probably comes from my associating them with ESG for some reason, and I just like the latter much better. But it remained a good set, and I’m sure I would appreciated it more had it come earlier. Hearing them live was very much worth it, it may not have been as great as I hoped it would be, but it did bring another dimension to music that has managed to remain interesting after all those years.


June 4, 2009 - Posted by | Music | , , , ,

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