As with the previous two days, live reports as they happen, photos in the Flickr stream — I am taking a few more photos on my regular camera but I won’t have those uploaded until after I’m back home. [EDIT: and now that all the photos are up and tagged and all, I’ll add some plus direct links back to appropriate band websites; however, my initial impressions will stand as they are.]
Oneida — now I will freely admit that Oneida have always just sort of been there for me, and that they have press packs prone to hyperbole. However they are starting off what’s been called ‘earplug day’ on the right note with a tight-as-hell feedback/chant/organ/drum drone rampage assault, so credit to them! From there into a more rambling flow of sonic ooze that’s as superheavy as they claim. Pleasant surprise of the day already and I thought this was going to be the weak spot!
Wooden Shjips — these guys have been on my ‘I should listen to them, shouldn’t I’ list for about a year so this was long overdue. Less full-on revelatory than I might have guessed but still solid; if anything it’s a kind of good time stoner rock band, with all the reverb on the vocals and effects and all well suited for a warm afternoon like this one. Very glad I’m not standing in the sub right now, actually.
Tara Jane O’Neil — had a chance to see Tara Jane a few times recently, including a brilliant collaborative set at Halleluwah last year. This performance is solo, so far, but no less entrancing. The combination of a slightly keening folk edge with thick electronics via guitar and pedals is both familiar and distinct — her work sounds most of all like herself, a clear style all hers.
Kinski — it’s Kinski. I really can’t add anymore to what I’ve already said over the moons. Biker shoegaze. Clean white line fever acid trips. Tight as fuck sprawl and splay. Once again, YEARRRRRRRRGH!!!!! And THEN Kawabata joins them along with one of Oneida’s keyboardists. From there, insanity.
MV+EE with the Golden Road — well I might poke my nose in later but right now there’s a mostly acoustic jam/improv going on between R. Keenan Lawler, Mike Tamburo, Jesse of Tanakh, Sharron Kraus and most of United Bible Studies. And it’s great! (And that’s the photo above.)
Bardo Pond — Kawabata guests again! Right from the start this time. Like Kinski, Bardo Pond pretty much refuse to suck, and so another stellar set of heavily stoned zone drones that are as ever agog with their own majesty.
Grails — another ‘well I’ve certainly heard a lot about them’ band. But where Wooden Shjips were quite good, these guys hit the spot for me more. Their own signifiers are just as familiar — layers of sitar drones, blasting drums, a soupçon of murky lyrics and feedback, not to mention plenty of ratchet-it-up further arrangements that take for granted that there is no such thing as too loud. Thrilling at its best, and it is damned hard to follow Bardo. Good work!
Motorpsycho — and again, another band that will not suck, period. On go the fog machines, out come the black shirts and once more, space biker oblivion, but with tunes! And some slippery way around melodies in general. I just let myself go with it at this point.
Sapat — an agglomeration of a band. Very much a positive. There are eight million instruments onstage and half as many people. Puts me in equal mind of the Starving Weirdos and the Gone Orchestra. Twisted blues, singing saws as voices and vice versa. Hordes of screaming fans! They’re local heroes and play like it. Even a dirge that’s a triumph.
Mono — so great but at this point my brain was full. Epic shoegaze Mogwai beauty. And there you go.
Kohoutek — only saw a quick snippet, was great, and goodnight.