Gigs, dance, art

September 11th, 2010: France Sauvage / Oso El Roto / Fusiller / Ero Babaa


A surprisingly quiet set from Ero Babaa. The good side is that it was a little bit more interesting than usual on the musical side, but the drawback was that it was more like two threads side by side. Then again, maybe that was just me not being used to that.

Fusiller’s set was pretty cool. Not really alien to what he does as part of Opera Mort, but I got the feeling it didn’t go as far as it could/should have. I’d like to hear him play with TG for some reason.

As usual with Oso El Roto, I suspect whether I like the set or not is really mostly about my own mindset. I guess I was in the right mood. His starting outside on voice only was nice. Some of his songs are familiar to me by now, and I don’t like that much. I guess I shouldn’t see him too often then.

At first I didn’t like France Sauvage, but by now I think I get it. I remember them being more elaborate somehow, but I like their intensity. Maybe it was always there and nothing changed but my perception. No matter why, I like them a lot now.

September 29, 2010 Posted by | Music | , , , , | Leave a comment

June 24th, 2010: TG / Napalm Jazz / Moliere / Damien Schultz / Centenaire


I liked the Centenaire opened their set, quite driven with a relentless rhythm and keyboard that was much to my liking. I’m definitely not fond of the voice, but that was nice. There were a couple other songs I liked too, but not so much the rest of the set, which was a little too mainstream pop/rock for me. Half is enough, though.

Damien Schultz had a new text, but it’s not really something to which I pay much attention. For me it’s all in the delivery and its rhythm, and the repeated phrase of that text was neat, and help but the rhythm in sharp relief. As good a performance as I’ve heard from him, which is saying something.

Moliere was another of these projects with a new name but featuring some of the usual suspects. They spent the set huddled in a corner, which avoided any antic to let the music stand on its own. It was less noisy and more immediately catchy than I expected, but pretty good and engaging as live music, nothing to sneeze at.

Napalm Jazz did the set that went the most to the usual noise side, though they were joined by Jac Pochat and Quentin Rollet, both on sax. They — especialy the former at first — brought a more melodic side to the performance without really mellowing it. Which is a good thing, and they merged well with the noise before fading and leaving both Napalm Jazz guys to conclude in a more noise vein. Nice set, but I could have used some more of the last part.

I thought the place would be a nice fit for TG and it was indeed a good set, and the first time I got to here his more beat-oriented side with a decent enough sound. What’s nice is that beyond the beats the noise is still there and there were several layers to that music, united in a set that was cohesive but not simple-minded.

July 6, 2010 Posted by | Music | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

May 24th, 2010: Austin Townsend / Agripon


I can’t say I expected much of Agripon with them played on such short notice. Well, it was fun and loud, the set had some progression and even held a couple of nice moments despite the clowning. So I guess it was better than I expected.

Austin Townsend’s set was completely different, an acoustic set with actual songs. Again, he had two members of Radikal Satan with him, and that trio just works. Townsend had a very nice deep voice, and his music is quiet but not that peaceful, there’s a tension underneath that quiet.

May 30, 2010 Posted by | Music | , , , | Leave a comment

May 22nd, 2010: Endless Boogie / Sugarlife / Thickly Painted Walls / Capricorn Band


I wasn’t in the best of moods going there.  Part of it was me having a hard time switching from that Indian music concert, part was being pissed off at missing Trans Am — but I knew I was taking a chance by not booking for that show. Maybe that’s why I was quite disappointed by Capricorn Band. Not that it was bad, but it was a bit too close to what Antilles did not so long ago, and I’ve seen them enough times to get seriously picky.

Thickly Painted Walls turned out to be my favorite set. I guess it had been a while since I heard this pretty basic feedback sound, though he explored the possibilities in a way that went way beyond basic. Maybe it was a good thing the turnout wasn’t that great, as he had room to move away from the amps at time. Maybe he would have been on the stage instead, and that might have made it less satisfying for me.

I can’t say much about Sugarlife, because his set seemed to have a strong visual component, and I just couldn’t see him.

Endless Boogie were loud and relentless, which is usually my kind of thing, but for some reason I tuned out after a while. Too bad, because I really liked them at first, and I think it was a good set. Maybe the earlier raga had burned me out.

May 29, 2010 Posted by | Music | , , , , | 1 Comment

April 23rd, 2010: Antilles / France Sauvage / La Ligne Claire / MAH


I was not feeling too well and almost skipped this one, but I really wanted to hear MAH — Miho, Alexandre Bellenger, and Hendrik Hegray — and all those canceled gigs because of that ash thing made me eager to hear some live music. MAH was pretty good, with axes of stability from rhythmic samples and a drone-like line beneath, that got ditched progressively, but not completely. More like a change of focus. Interesting though not totally up to its potential. This may be the point though.

I guess I wasn’t in the right mood for La Ligne Claire. They bring a lot of energy to the table, and I like their DIY feel. But I just lacked the energy myself to take it all in as it should, and that made me feel I missed the mark. Happens.

I think I finally got why so many people have been praising France Sauvage for a while now. Third time’s the charm, it’s about time. I was quite impressed by their use of records as samples, but the whole thing was both driven and interesting, with a sound personal enough to set them apart. I’m officially punching my ticket for that particular bandwagon.

While I’m on the subject of finally seeing the light, I thought several times while Antilles were playing that Lionel Fernandez wasn’t loud enough. I only caught the start of their set though, I chickened out and left to catch a train home. What I did hear wasn’t their best set in my opinion. There was this relentless pounding, but something seemed missing. That when it dawned on me that I’d grown to like Fernandez’ play, which would have shocked me a couple of years ago. Maybe I’m not too set in my ways to learn something, yet.

April 25, 2010 Posted by | Music | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

April 19th, 2010: Chen Santa Maria / Ero Babaa / Gmackrr – Brandon Valdivia / Etienne Brunet


I think Etienne Brunet‘s set was my favorite. I liked the unexpectedly melodic saxophone with a drone background that matched well the title he gave beforehand — tinnitus. It wasn’t out of place at all in my opinion, and a brought welcome free jazz bits in the mix. I was told later it was actually raga-based, which gives rise to other interpretations.

I liked Gmackrr‘s music the first time I heard her, and I thought the start of her set with Brandon Valdivia was great, with the percussion element meshing well and adding a new dimension. I didn’t think that held that well at the end of the set though. But there’s definitely something interesting going on there.

Then another onslaught from Ero Babaa. I think I never heard the sax that well before in their sets, as if that mattered that much anyway. They did their thing, which may not amount to much musically, but they had a good sound, and the engagement it takes to make such a thing work. And it did work, so it was well worth it.

Chen Santa Maria were the most regular sounding with guitars and effects, but the set was interesting anyway. I tend to like these sets where small structures are built only to be torn down. Maybe the tearing down was a little too fast sometimes though. It’s not as much that it didn’t leave enough time than that the timing got a little bit predictable. Nice enough though.

Romaric Sobac also performed this night, but I was outside and missed all but the last five seconds or so.

April 25, 2010 Posted by | Music | , , , , , | Leave a comment