Gigs, dance, art

June 26th, 2009: Publicist / Bloody Claws / Hama Yôko

@instants chavirés

Yet another sparse audience, understandable with the many other gigs going on. Even I briefly considered going somewhere else, but that didn’t last because I’d been waiting for so long to hear Carla Bozulich: the first Evangelista is such an amazing record.

Hama Yôko was Yoko Higashi and Lionel Marchetti. I had never heard of the former, and in my experience the latter can be great or not, with not much in between. It was one of the keepers, I really liked almost every thing he did. At least on its own. As for Yoko Higashi, I don’t like her voice much — just too conventionally good for me — but when it was doubled through effects, her performance was much more to my liking. Not surprisingly, the more chaotic bursts of noise in between the songs were what I liked best, especially those involving radios. My favorite parts were those that reminded me of interferences, both as a sound and in the way it would undermine what had just been going on. But on the whole it was quite uneven, and sometimes Marchetti’s burners were made a little empty by their lack of relation to the rest. So for me it was a mixed bag, ranging from boring to great with many stops in between. The best moments easily made up for the boring ones, so I’m happy to have heard them.

Another duo, Bloody Claws featured Carla Bozulich on voice and guitar, and Francesco Guerri on cello. I happen to like cello, and its use in this combination was indeed nice. The beginning of the set was a little frustrating though, I felt it took a while to get going — but that’s probably because I knew too much about Bozulich and felt she was holding back. But it got better soon and while she never reached her full potential, I think it was better this way, in the sense that pushing her voice to the max would have upset the balance between the two of them. So it was the right call in my opinion. At the end she put her guitar away and even went down and sat among the audience while singing, and that one was where her voice was strongest — and she has such an amazing voice it was a very nice moment indeed. But my favorite part was a quieter song a little earlier, one that felt downright folkish, reminding me of those dark folk songs that gave rise to the murder ballads more recently. That connection with old stuff is something I have always associated with her for more or less obscure reasons, and a very real part of why I like her so much.

By the time Publicist aka Sebastian Thomson got going, there were precious few people left, which felt totally wrong, especially as his avoiding the stage should have made for a more involved audience. It called for a circle of dancing people, and all he got were bystanders and me honing my usual wallflower routine. At first I was put off by the eightiesish sound, but then the reversal hit me: he was drumming live with canned synth, and figuring that out made even the vocoder a non-issue — and that’s definitely a feat as far as I’m concerned. It did feel like a miscast though, a good set wasted on the wrong people in the wrong place. I’d like to hear him again in a more suitable setting, with a lot of more responsive people that would allow me to enjoy the show safely tucked in a distant corner.


June 27, 2009 - Posted by | Music | , , , , ,

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