On this night we had Demdike Stare and The Sight Below and No UFOs playing in A PLANETARIUM. Or as the locals call it, H.R. Macmillan Space Center. I bought two tickets thinking I'd get a friend to come with me. I was alone at the last show I'd been to, and that really isn't my favorite thing. After dangling the carrot, I got my friend Shawn (who plays for Siskiyou among other things) to accept a free ticket. Why do I pay for other people? I dunno. I'm a dad. Habits die hard. Shawn, the fellows from Hierarchies, and some other chums biked it to the planetarium. Old Nayt took the Subaru, alone. I had thought about biking, too, but the prospect of chugging up all those hills at 1am just isn't something I care to tackle anymore. There's grey in my beard.
Upon arriving I knew no one, as usual. I decided to get some money so I drove to an ATM. On my way to the car I ran into Samuel Macklin (who I had just seen play a show as Connect_icut a few weeks prior). I didn't realize who he was at first, which made our conversation about our respective children and personal origins all the more fun. Originally from the UK, he lives here now, and his dry and fatalistic sense of humor hadn't betrayed him. He jested (rather seriously) that he knew very little about music, but maintained it as a hobby. I then proceeded to totally ace a parallel parking job. He said he respected Loscil quite a bit, to which I agreed. I mentioned how he (Scott Morgan) also had kids and how between the three of us it was strange that we were amongst the night people. We were on similar wavelengths. It was an enjoyable, light hearted and random meeting. Money obtained, we returned to the venue.
Eventually my friends arrived (I have friends!) and I was introduced to some other people. I just realize more and more that many people bore me, so not meeting people is a defense mechanism against being annoyed by small talk. Who wants to chit chat at the Demdike Stare concert?
The show began with No UFOs. Having the stars slowly rotating while a giant screen projection floated through space really was epic. His music was a mixture of percussive obfuscation and annoying repetitions. The screen sometimes appeared to be three dimensional, as if we were following its journey through sub space. That was an awesome visual trick several of us agreed we were playing on ourselves. Sometimes the music hit a vein that really got me into it, but No UFOs seemed to continuously sabotage my interest. Then without warning the massive sound he had been conjuring cut out. Someone thought he heard him say "Something died." That was the end.
|The Sight Below|
|The Sight Below|
I enjoyed their set in an intellectual way. I cannot say the Demdike Stare music really struck a chord in me. They take a really strange approach. Lots of tone pieces, accentuated by eerie found sounds, samples of spooky piano, chains and off kilter "rhythms" created sometimes by drums but more often by the interchanging of parts. After the show I asked Shawn "Why would you repeatedly create music like that?" So much dread! I am not sure I've seen a musical act full of more dread than this. Which is probably a good thing. Something to expand my horizons with in the future perhaps? Not sure, actually. I feel like they are going down a path I may have been interested in years ago. I don't believe humanity is inherently cursed or bad, a feeling which the videos seem to embrace. The whole thing was pretty pessimistic. If Demdike Stare wanted to change the way they make music or do the videos it would be met with much protest from fans. So they're kind of stuck there stylistically. As exercises in discomfort Demdike Stare songs take the prize.