Saturday, May 19, 2007

Too Much Fun Too.

Charlie Draheim - Within seconds Draheim found the limits of what I'm able to listen to. I'm not saying that it's bad. It's actually pretty astonishing and filled with fury and life. The crowd was blown away. I just don't like the whole piercing high end attack. That's my problem. Not Charlie's. A bit like Cindy Sherman's work in that I understand and appreciate it, but I don't like looking at it.

Princess Dragonmon - There were bubbles. There was a big bottle of blue liquid consumed by the band and some daring audience members. There was a space age beach ball that eventually made it's way into the crowd. An agressive robot appeared. Started fighting with the crowd. Crowd tore robot to shreds. Unrelenting music that I can't remember anything about except that right now as I'm trying to remember it I'm thinking of a cheesier and more aggressive and more sci-fi Hawkwind. Yes, I said "more" to all that. Space ritual, baby. Irresistible and well mental.

Grunt - Dom had warned me about this one. Went way beyond my wildest expectations. Grunt overcame the first sound snafu of the festival to deliver a set that plastered my ass to the wall. Utterly convincing vocals. The exact opposite of those of Hair Police the night before. While HP's vox actually made me laugh out loud, Grunt had me wishing I had worn a pair of those special astronaut diapers. One of my favorite performances of the festival. Whew.

Mouthus + Axolotl - For no particular reason I've always been resistant to checking out Mouthus, and after seeing them play live I'm filled with nothing but regret about this. Actually had me rocking back and forth in my seat the same way I did 25 years ago when I listened to Coltrane's A Love Supreme for the first time. One really can't ask for more than that. Amazing. They all hugged each other at the end. One.

Anti-Freedom - Absolute punk chaos . . . glorious confusion . . . Anti-Freedom is thy name. Much beer was sprayed, and it was the band that started it. And they finished it as well. By the end of the show Aaron Dillloway, Thurston Moore, Hive Mind, Dead Machines, Orphan Fairytale and cast of others had been dragged onto and pushed across the stage. Someone (it might have been the singer, it might have been the drummer, it might have been the dude standing on stage drinking beer for the duration of the performance) yelled to the audience "Raise your hands if you don't like freedom!". In this Bushy age of filthy double-speak and hate we all knew what that meant. Our hands stretched to the sky.

Raionbashi & Kutzkelina - Wow. Was NOT prepared for this one. Started off with malevolent droning environmental recordings, broke into some low-end noise, and then . . . then . . . YODELLING! And here's the kicker. It worked. If there was ever a moment that could have induced massive booing, this was it. Yet, everything was put together so well, so perfectly executed, it had the opposite effect. Absolutely rapt attenention from the audience. The yodelling eventually made it's way into a delay machine which led back to the drones and noise but the finish was pure yodelling bliss. One of the biggest audience responses of the night and possibly and partly out of shock. Incredible.

Carlos Giffoni - I always forget how truly great Giffoni is until I see him live. OK. I don't every really forget it, but let's just say that my perception is augmented by his live performances. This set was like stepping into one of the darker Rothko paintings while it's being hit with direct sunlight. Galvanizing. Truly, truly great.

Sissy Spacek - A real disappointment, with the John Weise connection and everything. I'm totally down with a set that lasts 4 minutes, mostly filled by the space between the 16 second long songs. But it you're gonna do that you better bring it. And I think that they would have had it not been for the singer. Boring.

Incapacitants - I haven't seen this much damage done onstage in a long time. Two Japanese bankers, probably in their mid-50's, walked on stage with their little back packs. They poked around their equipment to get ready for their set, barely shot a glance at one another, and BAM! Like an acid-baked steed of wild horses they were OFF! Bodies immediately began to fly giving security their biggest workout of the festival. I now understand Carlos Giffoni's willingness to actually reschedule the dates of the festival in order to accommodate the Incapacitants and their Japanese banking holiday. From the word, "Go." these guys were relentless. Full-on, devastating, and pure. I'll never forget this.

Night 1

Night 3

Night 4

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