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  FOG w/ Univac and Mummers  
  Los Angeles, CA  
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This is another one of the most anticipated shows of the year (for me). I think the new Fog record on Ninjatune is the path that indie rock and experimental electronica are leading toward.

This show also scared the pants off me, because it it's not performed correctly it can completely ruin the effect the record had on me. We have all had this happen, right? A great album that you love, and you go to see it live and the show is so horrid that you are left feeling sick to your stomach, and you wind up selling the record back after a couple weeks of staring at it in disgust.

I care about the Fog record that much. So this show was either make or break for me.

Showing up at my favourite venue in Los Angeles, Spaceland, I realized how incredibly early and excited I must be. The first group, Mummers had just taken the stage, and Spaceland, unfortunately, tends to run anywhere from half an hour to an hour and a half late on a regular basis. L.A. scenesters know this, so they all also run late.

The end result is that Walking into the club was like walking into an eerie lounge with about twenty people milling around. It was so empty that it was creepy. No wonder people are usually late.

ummers are two guys, one hooded with what looked like a huge mic-cover and the other in the neuvo-Frankenstien look, who create sound-scapes using random beats, guitars, and samplers. The music never stopped in their set and was indeed quite interesting at times, yet incomplete. Typically, knob-turners do not put on the best shows, but I'd say this was better than most because there was actual communication between the two members of the group. Plus, the dramatics were much more tangible because of the addition of the electric guitar.

By the time Univac graced the stage Spaceland had nearly tripled in attendance and it was starting to look like a solid show. Univac is an odd mix of and medieval indie rock. At times they are incredibly cheesy and quite boring in their attempt to mix as many genres as possible. Their first song reminded me of the Dave Matthews Band (not in a good way [umm, yeah.]) and then the styles gradually began changing. Along the path a couple genuinely good songs were performed, but each eventually became a bad up-tempo version of the Black Heart Procession. The style seemed to sway between some medieval festival and a hippy commune, hitting all the highs and lows in-between. Time for the final test: audience response. One or two people really jammed out and the rest kinda stood around, reserving their places for Fog. So, if you are throwing a Octoberfest, I have the band for you!

Fog was recorded by Andrew Broder after he became ill. He spent the illness locked in his basement, learning as many instruments as he could. He created a kind of hip hop based on the indie music scene with which he was familiar. He was soon signed by Ninjatune in the UK, and eventually his native US. To tour, he put together a band of friends to try and create a live version of Fog. The most current record and his live sound naturally varies a great deal, with the focus more on rocking out while touring the country.

We've all seen enough IDM and beat-maker shows where there's no movement at all, but this was not like that. Indeed, I thought this was a great mix of solo musician electronic-hiphop and live band rocking out, much like the record. In fact, I thought he was going to knock over the turntables in a Pete Townsend-esque explosion for a while. However, the rock was matched by his turntablism technique and the soundscapes he created. Many of the songs, however, were brand new or considerably older. The set seemed tailor made to sell copies of his previous release, skimping on the familiar Ninjatune material. Hey, we all gotta make our own, right? And he did play many of the more enjoyable tracks off the Ninjatune release. I was pleased with the show at the end of the night despite it all.

Although nothing really turned out how i would have liked it this night, it was a good show. Pleanty of variance between the bands and some quality mixed in with mediocre attempts at genre-mixing. A decent night out though, and nothing so awful as to chase me away to the smoking section.

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