Friday, March 26, 2010



Live Reviews


March 7


What the herring does one do on a Sunday night? It’s a peculiar time of the week; You’re saying toodle-oo to the weekend, delivering it a jocular slap on the back, saying, with little consolation – “see you in five days!” And then you sit back, twiddle your thumbs and await the inevitable, obnoxious arrival of Monday: it will storm through the door as you snooze, blowing one of those party-hooter things, and sneeringly exclaim “Guess who!”
So Sunday night takes on the characteristic of a sort of desperate, dragging limbo, an uneasy purgatory in which one claws at those last slippery threads of freedom. Unless, of course, something presents itself as a diversion – and thanks to The Moon, the One Trick Pony series on the first Sunday night of each month guarantees a diverting diversion indeed.

The intriguing task of providing a soundtrack to limbo was first passed to ERASERS, who were in fact tonight, just one ERASER, with guitar-and-gadgets man Rupert Thomas giving a solo performance. Caged within an electronic control panel, Thomas established an endless road of rich droning sawtooth synth before gradually releasing onto it any number of retrofuturistic, meandering vehicles. Translucent, slow-motion bicycles chimed their bells of crisp, icy guitar; weaving cars hummed dozens of drifting mechanical reveries, disappearing around corners, encircling the block, and reappearing in precise repetitive patterns. Between segments a voice from some unseen loudspeaker would issue an anonymous address. The whole thing glowed with the aimless, eerie but beautiful languor of suburbia; complimented in sinister fashion by scenes of unsettling cult film ‘Gummo’ projected onto linen on the back wall. Soothing and cinematic, the set took pains to ensure it didn’t suffer from the absence of two band members – if there’s any criticism, it’s the same as of the group as a whole – the sound recalls a touch too closely the influences it channels, and though altogether enjoyable, is yet to carve out a definitive stylistic identity.

The Ghost of 29 Megacycles is proving, from what I can gather, to be a charmingly enigmatic group: the few shows I’ve seen them play have been wildly different, ranging from tech-savvy sound-art to exotic unplugged jams and now tonight, concealed by animal masks, the trio set out to perform none other than the Dirty Dancing Soundtrack. How this decision was reached is beyond me; all I know is that the concept is awesome – the fruition thereof, even better. This is an alternate reality in which Patrick Swayze shares a grubby flat with Kevin Shields, where Jennifer Grey eschews the mountain resort in favour of hazy psychedelic happenings in dark, resounding warehouses. The soundtrack is reimagined via distorted guitar, thick bass, understated garagey drum thump and spatterings of distant vocals, ultimately sounding something like Galaxie 500 but even reverbier. The undeniable highlight is ‘(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life,’ which transposed into a sedate hurricane of cavernous fuzz ends up sounding like an early 90’s shoegaze classic. It’s worth recording, it was that good.

With a beaming carafe of Moon Goon and two serene but intriguing acts in which to immerse oneself, Sunday night at One Trick Pony certainly proved to be a quality alternative to Sunday night at home, reading the nutritional information on a bag of slivered almonds, or Sunday night trapped in a lift, counting the eyelets on your shoes. Of course, Monday soon came, grabbed me by the ears, gave me a wedgie and threw me out the door, but I was contented in the memory of the preceding evening. The ‘Pony is always worth a ride.

Love via Paper Planes cd review on Foxy Digitalis

This debut full-length from Perth, Australia band The Ghost of 29 Megacycles (named after a book about recording the voices of ghosts on tape) is strong, with an emphasis on texture rather than immediacy: slow, drawn out, lovely tones are created from guitar and organ (especially the guitar part on the song "We are the New Romantics") with occasional vocal lines, reminiscent of Liz Harris's, blending with the instruments rather than driving the songs via lyrics. It is a great combination of sounds and timbres.
There are times on the album when melody comes to the forefront, as on the album's title-track, and when a straightforward vocal delivery occurs, as on the song "True Love Will Find You in the End"--it will be interesting to see where they might take this sound in the future--but mostly these pieces are slow, and reward patient listening; they are more like distant landscape paintings than close-ups. 7/10 -- Jordan Anderson (24 March, 2010)