DATE: May 31,1999
VENUE: The Fold @ Silverlake Lounge,Silverlake,CA

Ron K.

This was the first time I was able to check out The Fold at their new location at the Silverlake Lounge (in a somewhat seedy part of town as opposed to a very seedy part like the Chorus Club). Good location, I think. Decent acoustics, spacious and a nice dive-y feel. As for the bill, I was psyched (no pun intended) to be able to check out a Japanese psych legend, guitarist Makoto Kawabata and his family/congregation Acid Mothers Temple. A six-piece that includes a very cute female synth player/singer, these folks seem to be true disciples of late 60’s/early 70’s hippie acidrock/cult mentality to the point where it felt like they were being beamed in from another dimension. Weird folk (?) touches (including what appeared to be a variation on Tuvan throat-singing ) were blended with heavy, heavy acid psych jamming that at times bordered on a psycho kind of free jazz but most often was solidly based on the influences of forefathers like Blue Cheer and Amon Duul II. But this was no retro rubbish here. These folks have the real spirit in them in a way that it seems that only the Japanese can pull off. The finale was a kind of Little Richard-meets-Blue Cheer piece of insanity that climaxed with Makoto going nuts and ripping strings out of his guitar and playing it at the same time. Absolutely amazing. Why don’t we have bands like this in the U.S.? Simple: because the Japanese have been able to carry on a musical spirit and state of mind that we have for the most part lost. How do they do it? You’ve got me, but kudos to whoever brought Acid Mothers Temple out here. In July Makoto’s other band Mainliner is touring (YEAH!!) so if you’re considering committing suicide you may want to put it off for a month and a half.
As for the openers, local space rockers Farflung delivered what I thought was kind of a lackluster, overlong set that never seemed to hit a groove. I’ve seen them play before and play damn good when they’re tight and emphasize their heavy side but tonight I felt like they were kind of meandering. Oh well, maybe next time.
Instagon, they of the never-the-same-twice line-up, tonight featured on synth my former bandmate E.J. Nervo and five other dudes (including Lob, of course). Instagon, what with their no-prior-rehearsal policy, is generally only as good as how the group of musicians Lob gathers happen to work together. Tonight they were definitely on, as they were all following each other well enough so it didn’t become aimless; and the last number, which hit a On the Corner-era Miles Davis kind of feel, was really killer. I’d say that they should stick with this line-up but of course this is Instagon and well...