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Catching Up

December 10, 2008

So. I haven’t posted a few things that I had intended on posting. Some of this stems from the fact that I forgot to bring my camera to several shows with me.

Last week, I saw several shows. First up on the week was El Ten Eleven at Off Broadway. They were great. All nine of us in the audience were throroughly rocked.

The opening band was Macro Meltdown. I only saw their last song. I wouldn’t call them noise-rock, because the was little if any “rock”, much less melody, harmony, beat, rhythm or structure. But there was a lot of loud noise. And cacophony. They were actually good at what they do, I just don’t like what they do. It was inappropriate for the show; it belonged in an art space with an audience of people who would appreciate it more than opening for a poppy band.

After that band, it was kind of jarring for the in-between music to be Picaresque by The Decemberists.

El Ten Eleven is two dudes. One guy plays drums. The other guy primarily plays bass, alternating between a fretless bass and a double neck bass/guitar combo. He loops all of his parts and sends his signal through about 18 effects pedals. The music is all instrumental, pretty melodic and borders on being dancey a la Ratatat but sometimes closer to Pinback or Minus the Bear. It was very fun. You should see them if you get a chance. Their music was featured in the documentary Helvetica, too.

On Thursday, on saw Alash, Tuvan throat singers from, uh, Tuva, which is in Siberia on the border with Mongolia. They were really good. In addition to the crazy throat singer, I actually really liked the music, which primarily featured string instruments – indigenous versions of guitar, cello and bass. Between the four of the players, they probably spoke 11 words of English: “This is a song about horse and pretty girls from Missouri”

Finally, last Saturday, I saw Jon Hardy and the Public. I didn’t catch Caleb Travers’ set, but I did see Santa, who were good in a very comfortable indie rock sort of way.

Jon Hardy was great. It was probably the loudest I had ever seen them play, and then throw in the horn section they added for the show, and it was great. They did a new song or two, plus two Randy Newman covers (“Baby Take Your Hat Off” and “Short People”) and the always-great-cover of Springsteen’s “Rosalita”.

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