Friday, October 21, 2005

those shows i was telling you about? i went to two of them already.

last night, Cake Shop. Birthday Boyz... there is one word that throbs in my brain every time i see them and that is DIRE. some major soul-barfing from these chaps and miraculously it comes across as totally genunine and transcends emo cliches entirely. the music is heavy, sad, epic, complex (the riffs are thorny but always memorable-you'll find yourself singing them days later); basically the words people use to describe snoozy metal bands like Isis and Pelican apply more to Birthday Boyz. the sight of guitarist Jeff Bobula doubled over, screaming and playing some weird-ass chord is a holy thing. i don't know who Birthday Boyz sound like--there may be some underground hardcore bands that i'm not aware of, but i'm glad i don't have to go digging in that morass and that BBoyz deliver the best things about that genre (heaviness, complexity, virtuosity, screaming) right to my door.

the Fugue are a sick band. they have boiled their thing down to some very primal thudding and blasts of noise. singer Joe Somar is a force of nature; he rivets entire rooms with his grotesque posturing and crowd-accosting manner. ok, ok, so Joe's not the first to fuck with the audience and turn a rock show into a perverse spectacle (IggyYowGG, etc.etc.etc.), but how many of those performers do you get to see live on a regular basis in a place like the fucking Cake Shop? that's right, none; so shut up. Joe was even haranguing his own guitarist, Conrad, who turns his back to the crowd the entire time, which i think is awesome. Ben and Tia hold the whole thing together. if you like the Jesus Lizard and/or other bands with that seasick, swaggering, drunk but totally vicious vibe then you will like the Fugue a whole lot.

enjoyed Animal very much too. my first time seeing them. i met them a while back and after hearing their mp3 (follow link to their web page on the right), i wished there had been more experimental rock bands at Columbia when i was there (Fenster Hall, raise the roof!). anyway, they're a duo: Patrick is guitar, Alex on the drums. Patrick builds up these big tapestries with tons of loops; his jazzish techniques are pretty bad-ass and he uses tapping and a whole lotta other snazzy ways of playing the guitar that just sound good. Alex is busy as shit but also tight and when they kick into a groove it's pretty righteous. i look forward to hearing more of this stuff. if i haven't done my job, Battles is a point of reference.


on Wednesday, i saw Mostly Other People do the Killing, who may be the best jazz band i've ever seen. how not to lapse into hyperbole? i'm so pissed that everyone i know was not at this show b/c i've been exhausting myself over the past day trying to express to people how commanding these guys are. if you've heard Peter Evans, you know the kind of stunning chops we're talking about; his speed, sonic diversity, humor--everything is just basically shocking. the ridiculous thing is that EVERYONE IN THE BAND IS THIS GOOD. i had heard the record and could tell that saxist Jon Irabagon could play, but i had no idea what he could really do. he took a five-minute long alto solo (unaccompanied) that took a little while to find itself but soared into the most amazing bluesy Ornette places, punctuated by Braxton-like honks and--get this--a quote from fucking "Careless Whisper!" (Jon must've known that that song is on my very short list of fave songs ever.) seeing these two horn guys together is awe-inspiring. Moppa's tunes are perfect for the band--brash and swinging and fortunately not too complex b/c the band members' tendency to stretch time and add little comment-squiggles wouldn't work so well if the compositions were too involved. he's a hell of a bass player too, but his role is mostly providing a launch pad for the horns and Kevin Shea. what can be said about Kevin that has not? let me just say that if you missed the show, you missed Kevin standing on top of his drum kit performing an extended sex dance with his music stand thrust between his legs. and his drum-playing was even better than that! basically all this bullshit about jazz being dead would be irrelevant if people would go see this band; they should be headlining large venues. grandparents and infants would dig this stuff just as much as i do.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

am immensely enjoying duos of Paul Flaherty and Chris Corsano. Corsano is a total motherfucker and it is finally making sense to me why he's so ubiquitous. he swings very, very hard.

i'm happy the rain has stopped so we can get down to business with the fall.

show on Friday was really fun. thanks to our friends--Mary, Dan, Ben, Hannah, Matt H, Doug M, Maya and her friend whose name is escaping me, Zack, Kaben and anyone i'm forgetting--for making the Cake Shop feel cozy and to Nadav for the excellent live sound and to Andy for, uh, opening the club in the first place. i heartily recommend playing there; the sound is fantastic (monitors for the drummer!) and you get treated--gasp!--like a human unlike MOST other clubs--follow link to the right to learn more. as expected, Tony fucking ruled. thanks also to Proton Proton and Ill Ease; loved 'em both.

i need to move from Greenpoint to Greenpoint. if anyone knows of any two bedroom spots (for me and my roommate), hit me up.

have heard of the departure from the Holy Wars--best band in NYC you haven't heard-- of one Phil Kennedy, best drummer in NYC you haven't heard. sad, but they recorded at bit which is to be had here.

Squid and the Whale was definitely funny and awkward as expected. some things about it missed a little; maybe a bit extreme in places? i dunno, maybe it does really fuck you up that bad to have your parents split up; i've never experienced it.

hail the fucking Big Lebowski. cheers me so much.

shows to see this week:

-->Mostly Other People Do the Killing at CBs on Wed.
-->the Fugue, the Birthday Boyz and Animal at Cake Shop on Thursday.
-->Hella at Nokia (yes, that's right) on Friday; Arctopus/Dysrhythmia at Lit later that night.
-->Ball Governor and Zack Mexico's new noise band at Tommy's on Saturday.
-->MELVINS and JELLO (wait, Jello's now very lame) at Webster on Sunday.

whew... see you there?