Sunday, September 25, 2005

Extreme Music Not From Finland

The Saturday night of the Subcurrents bash featured no Finnish acts. First up were Decaer Pinga v. Smack Music. These are actually two separate bands with members of one married to someone in the other. And they feature siblings, for full on sauce action. They seemed to be Scottish, or so sounded the woman who asked for the stage lights to be turned down. The combined bands' music was very BBC Radiophonics Workshopy, and very loud. Like a lot of bands of that ilk it was not immediately obvious where the various sounds they made were coming from. That is of course only a problem if you are aspiring to reproduce their music at home. Anyway, I thought these guys were great.

Cul De Sac were from America, and were not so good. OK, they seemed like amiable fellows with an endearing line in between song patter, but their music wasn't much cop. They were at their best when rocking out in an uninspired manner, but more typically their music seemed to be a mess of uncoordinated elements, made all the more annoying by their obvious skills in musicianship. Their last song showed a bit more togetherness and promise, so maybe one day greatness will fall upon them.

The wonderfully named Double Leopards seem to also come from the America. They shared stylistic elements with Decaer Pinga & Smack Music, being multi-gendered and making strange tone-generated music in a mysterious manner. They had an engaging "WOAAAH!" stage quality and generally projected a manner of living to art-rock. Their music seemed to be based on heavily treated vocals, as they all seemed to spend all their time screaming into microphones, with the output never the less sounding completely ab-human. Some did however feel that they started well and then trailed off, but I think that is a reactionary position.

In between sets, Double Leopards DJed in the CCA bar, playing stuff like 'TV Eye' and 'I Heard Her Call My Name'. ROCK.

Tony Conrad is some famous 20th century classical music guy. Tonight he was playing a violin, with the sound of his playing treated and looped to create a hypnotic wall of sound. And he played backlit, with his shadow projected up onto a sheet separating him from most of the audience. It was all very mesmerising and conducive to falling into a trance state. I've always been a great man for the dozing at classical music events, feeling that this allows the music to be appreciated directly by the subconscious. Here I managed to go into a full-blown snooze. That might make it sound like I did not like the music or performance of Mr Conrad, but he might well actually have been the highlight of the weekend.

The final act were Wolf Eyes. There were three of these fellows, and they kind of sounded like I imagined ARE Weapons would sound when I read about them first. They play rocky electonicsy stuff, and feature a hairy beardy guy on guitar, a hairy guy on vocals, and a baldy guy on keyboards. They were very loud and very "DUDE!", and I was glad to have brought the earplugs. However, by now we were a bit *tired*, so waited a polite interval and then made our excuses and left.

The CCA is on the west end of Sauciehall Street, and when we came out of the CCA there were a load of people milling around the slapper clubs that feature so prominently in that part of town. Thus we found ourselves face to face with the other, non-arty Glasgow - a Glasgow of short skirts, short tops, & short heads. God bless them. A future goal for these kind of art-rock festivals would be to incorporate the other Sauciehall Street into the show as some kind of aesthetic spectacle.

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