Gigs, dance, art

May 16th, 2009: Elsie Else Festival

@instants chavirés

I’m running so late in posting this, from a combination of being busy on all fronts and also some mixed feelings toward this blogging thing. I guess I’ll just catch up fast and take it from there.

Just like last year, I really liked the Elsie Else festival because it featured pretty diverse acts, a lot of which were quite different from the music I usually listen too. And just like last year, Toba was again my favorite. I don’t really know why, as her music is not my usual experimental fare. Maybe part of the reason is that even though it’s far more immediately accessible than that, there’s still enough going on beyond that surface. Anyway, I love her music, do I need a reason? Far too often lately, I feel I’ve been overthinking it, and needed some intellectual appreciation to like a show — that comes with some of the territory. So I’m a bit relieved to be able to just like music without reason or justification. Then again, maybe I should analyze it a little, a convenient excuse to be on the lookout for another show.

I guess I was not in a thinking mood anyway, because I didn’t put up any kind of fight to get into Bird and Bear‘s music, though I did appreciate it more than last year. Nicely done, but just not my kind of thing, just too nice and poppy for me. For no good reason at all, I was expecting something more extreme from 12 Dog Cycle, probably from reading about Alice Hui-Sheng Chang‘s “extended vocal technique”. It was actually quite subdued and interesting, especially in how the voice would interact with the music. A bit too short actually, maybe because she didn’t really step in early enough. Worth checking out again.

DinahBird‘s was my second favorite set, closer maybe to some of the stuff I’m used to, and with a polished quality that somehow didn’t bother me at all. Diverse elements put together that I’m used to hear in different contexts. Again I wouldn’t have minded that set lasting longer, so I’d like to hear her again. That set probably didn’t help me to like the next one, as Jean-Philippe Renoult sounded far too close to things I’ve heard before, with a seriousness about it that just didn’t sit well with the rest of the event for me and just put me off.

Un escargot vide? delivered a set that was consistent with last year’s, again with children voices but I just liked it better, for some reason I didn’t focus as much on the annoying element these are for me, and the rest was pretty good. Missed the likembe though. The sheer number of acts was taking it’s toll as well, it probably would have taken something more unusual than ZRL to get my attention at this point. The final set brought Sonic Surgeon and Futsukayoi Kaprikorn together, and that was a nice move in that they are quite different. Sonic Surgeon worked more with voice and effects, with a definitely punk flavor nonetheless, and that contrasted with the video game sounds quite nicely. I felt it didn’t quite reach its potential though, but again it had been a long day — and week, and month — so I was probably burned out.

May 22, 2009 Posted by | Music | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment