I like Eyedrum -- it's an interseting little
place. The music space is pretty cool, just a huge open room
with some amps set up at one end and some chairs strewn about.
Of course it is an art gallery, so sometimes you get strange
things placed about. At the time of this show, the art was pretty
minimal. Basically, there were some squiggly lines painted on
two walls in flourescent colors. It looked like there had been
a terrible highlighter accident. Not bad i guess, but not particularly
But of course, i was there for music not art. The first act
tonight was Antasten. They are members of the booming Vienna,
Austria free jazz scene. Supposedly there are normally 3 keyboardists
making up the band, but only 2 of them were album to make it
across the Atlantic this time.
Their performance started with an explanation. I don't know
how i feel about that. On the one hand, i think that if your
music is so intellectual you have to explain it to your audience,
perhaps you are going to far. On the other hand i liked hearing
about what they were going to do. So i dunno.
At any rate, the two members of the band played various keyboards,
including the ubiquitous Mac Laptop. One of the members sat
at a piano, and he played the whole thing. That is, at times
he played the keys, at time he hammered on the strings with
various things, and at times he rattled stuff about inside the
piano. I kept wondering: is that bad for the piano? It doesn't
Their musical output ranged from agressively avante jazz to
glitch to beautiful minimalist classical. It was an interesting
set, but in all honesty i was bored with it about half-way through.
I wonder, why does avante-garde music have to be free of melody?
At any rate, not too bad really.
The second act was Detroit rockers Paik. I was not too familiar
with them going in to this show, but after seeing their performance
i would describe them as "ponderous stoner instrumental
rock". They even played to a video loop of strange images
-- marching soldiers contrasted with blood vessels. How stereotypical
of the stoner rock genre....
They are a three-piece, and the drummer had one of those copper-bottomed
kettle drums. He didn't play that anywhere near enough, in my
opinion. For the most part though, they were very competent.
They were also quite loud. The Eyedrum positively echoed with
guitar noise during their set. On the whole they were not bad
really, but again it wore on me after a while.
Paik tore down their gear, and Windy and Carl set up. There
are only 2 of them, but they have a pretty complex setup. There
was lots of electronic gear, and the guitars had to be fed into
that and then into the amps. They fiddled with stuff and tuned
for a few minutes, and then Carl went seamlessly from tuning
to creating a drone. People were still standing around talking
when their set started, which was kind of neat. At any rate,
they proceeded to create a long textured drone from their two
guitars. It went on for 25 minutes or so, during which the Eyedrum
again echoed with sound. This sound was a little more subtle
than Paik's, and i felt like i had been dropped in an ocean
of sound waves. It was an amazing experience.
And it ended when Carl blew some piece of equiptment. So he
spent a few minutes tweaking gear, and then they started up
again. For the second half of their set Windy and Carl played
light dreampop. Windy even sang a bit. Their non-drone stuff
reminds me a lot of the work of Landing.
It's pretty good light airy pop. And of course, Carl is a masterful
guitarist, so it works really well.
Windy and Carl played for an hour, ending their set around
1:30 AM. Very late on a work night for this Minion, but after
seeing/heaing/being immersed in that one drone piece i was very
happy i came.
Windy and Carl are on tour with Paik right now. If they come
through your town, i recommend you go.