EVENT: SOL INVICTUS, INSTAGON, AA23
DATE: February 4, 2000
VENUE: CLUB VYNYL, Hollywood,CA
REVIEWER: DAVID COTNER (as experienced ten yards from the stage, amongst 200+ people)
Much conferring amongst musicians onstage as an ambiance segues to ambience and a beatful whirr. Slow. Not low. Those speakers are beaten from the inside and a ball hurls colours in a roundabout fashion. Much conferring. Voices seep occasionally - and just whose are they?
And a segue that only seems like a full stop. A weaving sting of strings and does the programming of an instrument become an instrument itself? This hall use to hallow the sock of rockabilly - how much of those sonic qualities still haunt this place? For ghostliness and ghastliness are hall-marks of rockabilly itself. Is it possible for the music that found action in a venue - to further act and play through music later performed in the same venue? Well, of course it is - anything's possible. But is it probable?
Phrases ride astride the curve and echo of themselves. Transfixion. Spot-light unfolds across the stage, flowering in revelation. Now comes the phrase comes the phrase comes the phrase. "Yes." Is it a sexes-clad thing for more males than females to approach the stage? At least one lapdesktop computer generates a sound.
Third: easy demarcations? Drumming drumming and so on. Cries and whispers and what do artists think of snatching their statements?
And yet here is where the objective journalistic imperative must be obeyed. Analysis. Reportage. Direct impression. Often has the performer turned his back on the audience. It should be vice-versa. Objectivity. At all costs. Music is the sound you like. Noise is the sound you do not like. Both notions must be considered. Objectivity. Even if it costs your pride, even if it costs your anger - there will be an accounting. There MUST be. There is no other way. Choose everything simultaneously and not. And what else is a music re view but everything in the re viewer that was experienced at the time? Whilst the music was playing? What happened? What happened?
There is no "rejection." There is no "disappointment." Things happen in a certain order, and then more things follow. It's the way it must be. Quotations are necessarily temporary things.
Eight players onstage. Several stringed electrical instruments. Much percussion. Much: the desire to find the plentifulness in allthings - even if the question is "Who drank my water?". The action is recorded to videotape from behind the group. Another avenue of perception? At what angle exists the truer perception? It is not for nothing that those who scale Mount Everest forget to stand on their heads at the summit.
"The Arrow." Do measured rhythms precede weight of lyrics? Which is to say: we are thanked profusely. A red pall enthralls the stage. "Your god is not my god." And a cover of "Bela Lugosi's Dead" - but dead WHAT? With congas and no vocals, they carry the weight, carry the weight...
A chant, a drone, a feminine point and counterpoint - and at what point does a group become a band?
It has been said that folk music is essentially punk rock - to the beginning and back again? Can there be a link rewoven from the past by strings vibrating and drums beating? Copper into water use to be sorcery - what about sweat on metal and over guitar?
"In my garden..." Flute and strings and the insistent beat. There seems to be a sense of nostalghia - of want for returning. But to what? For what? "And no one sees what we see / and no one believes in what we believe..." I myself would bang a gong (after I bang a broad) if only discourse and conferrence were shaken loose upon striking - and that IS nostalghia for an age yet to come.
"This is love / this is hate / this is chance / and this is fate..." In a garden green - much harmony. Flowers of feedback (piss blossoms?) bloom here and there. If there are person-shaped spaces in us all - representing the people in our lives - could there also be similar spaces for songs and poetry and cats and icebergs? And so on? Is the world as empty as it seems? There is also a sense of living through these songs - as if there are spaces inside Tony Wakeford that are filled only through the songs sung again. "Here we go / the same old lies again..." Can the progression of a setlist be dependant on several factors - besides aesthetics? Well, all right - if so, why aren't people made more aware of these factors? Is the creative process - even down to the nth of red tape - so hermetically-sealed?
"And the sun was over the woods..." Violin trembles into view and drone vanishes and reappears. Migration? A wandering of the idea? The piss blossoms of feedback call from their darkened wood - instruments playing the musicians, apparently.
Sound and vision. There are two pairs present during live action. There is the sound and vision onstage - and that which is heard and seen of the audience, from the audience. What action remains "free" of the final cough or clap? What live recording can extract itself from a murmur, from clinking glasses and linking laughter? Both kinds of sound live their own lives. Yet - perhaps as importantly - at which points can these two lives intersect? At what point does audience and performer become one?
"See how we fall...", "The king is dead but the phoenix will arise..." Harmonies and vibes. "Against The Modern World" and "The Death of the West" (with an entirely different raft of phrasing) and in the future physical beauty shall be measured by how clean and unmarked and unremarked upon - the body is.