Monday, February 15, 2010

Cumulus 2010 Part 3

Saturday night was definitely the most diverse and interesting of the three. Each of the bands was worlds apart from the others, so the idea of "festival" felt more true. Celebrating our differences, so to speak.
Bill Horist began the evening with a perfectly normal acoustic guitar. I say this because after a long period of time where he played highly avant-guarde music with a plethora of talented musicians from around the world, including prepared guitar where the neck is fitted with all kinds of gadgetry to make textural soundscapes, he decided to play guitar and not fetishize it.
Bill's expressions speak volumes as he plays, and his phrasings were so wonderful, at one point I got very emotional. After the show we talked to him about music and the nature of electricity, as well as the entities that aided in his soon-to-be-released album next month. The interview is incredible and I can't wait to share it with readers of The Silent Ballet. This is a wise man indeed.

Cue the fog machine...
I had heard a bit of The Diminished Men prior to the show; knew they were channeling the midnight exotica of an Angelo Badalamenti film score. Nothing compares to the live performance, however. With saucer effected guitar, baritone guitar and tight drumming, their set was exquisite. I could have listened to them play for another hour, they were so good.

The trio known as Bronze Fawn stepped up next, and while at first they seemed like a lot of post-rock bands, they had a few tricks up their sleeves. The main one being that they are very tight. The bass player had so many pedals (a majority being digital effects) he had to set them up on the floor, off the stage. Steve appreciated the guitarist's pedal transitions, which while subtle to the ear, were happening a lot on stage. The final song they played was a dynamic narrative with false endings and a great sound.

Lastly, we had Talkdemonic, who I met a few days earlier in Portland for coffee. I had water, but they are close to tracking a new album as well. The appeal of this band is improving, as a lot of the folktronica beats that accompanied their older material is giving way to a looser and wide open sound where Lisa's viola does a lot more of the lyrical aspects.
Kevin is an awesome drummer, and he always seems to look really happy. I am definitely stoked on their newer material as it is heavier and just more natural feeling. These two peeps are super nice and I look forward to seeing them again, maybe at Kevin's fusbol tournament this summer.

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