Saturday, April 28, 2012

Jeff Mangum ATP Part 1: Executive Summary

I went to the recent All Tomorrow's Parties in Minehead, curated by Jeff Mangum. For the benefit of busy people I present these very brief accounts (23 words or less) of the artists I saw.

Matana Roberts & Sebastian Rochford: A jazz saxophonist roffler playing with winner of the ATP White Afro Competition 2012. Skronk-tastic and a great opener.

Young Marble Giants: Austere music from the post punk legends coupled with the guitarist's endearingly lame attempts at humour.

The Raincoats: The wrong kind of ramshackle. Songs too formless and tuneless even for the Under Fives Tin Drum Improv Orchestra. 'Lola' the only highpoint.

The Fall: An enjoyable performance, with the band now used to Mark E. Smith and his ways; but what did he say about Joanne Newsom?

Thurston Moore: Thurston solo is a bit Sonic Youth-lite. I wonder what or who that 'Queen Bee' song was about?

A Hawk And A Hacksaw: Faux folkies accompany a strange Soviet-era film about funny Ukrainians in a darkened room with invisible subtitles. Spectral.

Boredoms: Ten drummers and twenty guitarists, but are they really all that?

The Apples In Stereo: They play songs that sound like other people's songs.

Feathers: Art project all woman synth band fronted by Anastasia Dimou. Fascinating and worth further investigation.

Joanna Newsom: Impressive technique from the elfin sensation who is clearly not the idiot savant some might see her as. A slow burn.

Low: More sublime miserabilism from the Carter Family of our times. The only band to mention Syria. They invited everyone for a morning run.

Blanck Mass: I am not certain that I actually saw this band.

Mount Eerie: Quirky singer songwriter fellow with odd songs that sounded almost like works in progress and which ended very abruptly, whereupon he would curtsey.

Scratch Acid: The hardest rocking band to ever play ATP but not as interesting as that sounds.

Demdike Stare: Vaguely hauntological electronic music from Finders Keepers associates, combined with fascinating Apollo Rising type visuals.

American Contemporary Music Ensemble: By playing classical music at midday on Sunday they transported me back to the Hugh Lane Gallery. 'Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet'.

Boredoms: OK so maybe they are all that but still have not surrendered to them in the way my friends have.

Roscoe Mitchell: Old jazzer still has it.

Sun Ra Arkestra: More old (and some young) jazzers, this time space jazzers, who still have it.

Rafael Toral
Rafael Toral: Possibly analogue electronic post-free jazz improvisation or something unwisely scheduled at same time as the Arkestra. Interesting.

Tall Firs: Two rofflers who play guitars and sing songs. And whose fanzine talks about how Thucydides is freaking awesome.

Group Doueh: Desert guitars. Less trippy than on record, but Mr Doueh still awesome. Nice to see modestly dressed not thin women strutting their stuff.
All Star Jam
All Star Jam: Various bands of the festival appear on stage together and serve up some crazy Arkestra-style space jazz. The right kind of ramshackle.

An inuit panda production

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