Sunday, November 12, 2006

Secret Chords.

The Austerity Program plays music the way I like it: loud, galvanizing, and destined for commercial failure. Although that last one might fall by the wayside as they've been picked up by HydraHead Records . . . Well, actually, they probably still won't sell any records, but that's ok. I doubt that they care. A guitar, a bass, and an abused drum machine are all they need to live their dreams.

I've seen them play in front of 10 people and I've seen them play in front of, oh, at least 50. It doesn't matter how many are in the room, The Austerity Program wins them over. The best example of that is the damage I saw them do to a group of cooler-than-you Pratt kids one night at Sputnik a couple months ago. The young 'uns were expecting to score some heavy sneer time and and by the second song of the set they were screaming and hitting each other. It was the definition of victory.

A documentary, Too Big To Fail, is in the works about the band. They showed the trailer at the Red Cross benefit in DUMBO Saturday night, and it looked great. Seriously. This is the kind of story that can't be told enough. Obviously the soundtrack is gonna be killer.

Also on the bill last night was the Pelican side project, Chord. When I encourage my friends who get their metal referrals from the Times to dig a little deeper, Chord is the kind of treasure I hope they'll discover. Compositions are based on one note and move forward into drones of a crushing dark beauty. There were moments that had a clear connection to John Cale's work with The Dream Syndicate. I picked up their CD-R from the merch table and I've had it on REPEAT all day.

The guitar effects duo, Grower, was the last to go on. They were like Illitch with a power drill. The crowd wouldn't let them leave the stage. Brilliant.

Ooh. And many thanks to Decibel magazine and Powerhouse Books for all the comped goods. The free mags and the Beastie Boys Anthology would have been enough, but David Yellen's amazing book of Heavy Metal portraits, Too Fast For Love, took the cake.

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