Tuesday, November 24, 2009

amazingly, Joker wasn't even the most amazing thing i saw at the weekend

even more amazing was the performance by... Jad Fair and Lumberob

there was this two-day festival A Fantastic World Superimposed on Reality: A Select History of Experimental Music, curated by Mike Kelley & Mark Beasley - went to the first night, lots of good stuff... others more like "concept sound" e.g. the strange Fluxus-type piece called "Lobbing Potatoes at a Gong" which involved, ah, Kelley hurling spuds at a large gong... or Fred Frith's "Stick Figures", which involved two guys pulling threads of wool through the strings of a pair of electric guitars... so yeah "interesting"... BUT there was also Z'ev (who apparently did his first paid performance in 1962!) bashing and stroking metal... Thurston Moore's trio with Ryan Sawyer and Daniel Carter, improv fury, very exciting, especially the drumming... Genesis P finding a diagonal between the sublime and the ridiculous with Thee Majesty (probably the only genuinely "challenging" thing on the night in the sense that the audience didn't know what to make of it and responded rather lukewarmly to P's recitations and the sproingy spurts of processed gtr), Arto Lindsay's gloriously goofy, bendylimbed noise-guitar shimmy... a long, long, and deafening duet for gongs composed by Rhys Chatham.... oh yes, and they had reconstructed Intonarumori for a very brief Russolo piece

but the stand-out performance was Jad Fair and Lumberob, doing this very peculiar but entertaining human beatboxing fed through delays/loops/FX, "phrase-sampling" i think they call it... at certain points they seemed to be doing jungle tracks using just their voices, real rumblistic B-lines a la "The Helicopter Tune"... elsewhere it was like the vocal weirdness Gibby used to do in Butthole Surfers meets i dunno Mighty Boosh crimping, but, um, a lot more enjoyable and dynamic and just mighty than that possibly sounds.... strangely though the one track at their Myspace isn't nearly as impressive as what they did on Friday, perhaps it's something that only works at top volume and onstage with them doing their nutty dance routines