Archive for June, 2008

why devo might be the best argument for a band that gets old to continue to play songs together

Posted in music with tags , , , , on June 29, 2008 by MonsoonSeason

devo, tom tom club, dan deacon @ mccarren pool june 26

thursday proved to be more interesting than thursdays usual tend to be with performances by devo, tom tom club, and dan deacon.  well, maybe not tom tom club.

after paying a whopping $58 (!) dollars at the door, I arrived at a nearly empty mccarren pool.  it is a mammoth area, larger than most community pools I’ve experienced, and of course dilapidated, as most abandoned structures are.  paint peeled from the bottom of the pool (which never dipped below six feet deep), graffiti warmed the oddly-placed cylindrical structures jutting out from the sides.  in essence, your typical LiveNation venue.

dan deacon was just starting off his incredibly short set with “the crystal cat.”  the crowd surrounding dan’s table was an odd mix:  devo dads who seemed disinterested; hipsters trying their damnest to have a good time; photojournalists; toddlers.  dan didn’t seem to notice the mixed audience–he was too busy fucking killing it, despite the raw deal he was getting from the sound guys (half his sound was from his front speakers, half from the stage–gave the sound a weird echo).

the highlight of the set for me came about halfway through with “snake mistakes.”  dan cleared everybody back into a large circle and pulled out one hipster who was dancing incredibly hard and had this exchange.

dan: how’s it going?
hipster:  great, man.
dan:  okay, here’s what’s happening:  we’re all dying from a terrible poison–
hipster:  okay.
dan:  we don’t have long to live.  and you, you have come running back with the sole antidote.
hipster:  cool.
dan:  so you need to reach out your hand and high-five everyone here–everyone, stick out your arms–in order to give them the antidote.  but you need help handing it out, so you need to grab one person and have them run with you.  and then they’ll grab someone, and they’ll grab someone, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, until we’re all running.

so we all went for a brisk run.  personally, I got a bit overzealous and snatched up five or six people, but it was the same effect.  some dickhead kept holding out his hand and raising it before someone could grab it, so somebody grabbed him by the waist and pulled him along.  I have never seen a person so legitimately shocked to be touched by another human.

dan deacon’s appeal is not his music, but in the interaction of people enjoying the sounds that he’s making.  the music is secondary (although still fabulous) to the experience of listening to music with other people and expressing it through various outlets.  in this case, it was going for a group run, or building a human tunnel throughout mccarren pool.  it was not just a concert, but an experience; not just a performance, but a mood enhancer.

tom tom club was boring and a huge let down and that’s all I’ll say about tom tom club.

devo started their show with a gigantic video display showing the history of devo.  they graced the stage wearing their yellow jumpsuits and red power ziggurats with grand aplomb, strapping on their instruments and instantly launching into music.  it was a big mess (I mean a really big mess); hit laid way to b-side, b-side belied hit.  “whip it” was the third song, “freedom of choice” and “gut feeling,” the closers.  it was a mix of expected and surprising, angsty and joyous.

the shocking part of the entire performance was that they sounded exactly as they did in the 80s–vibrant, youthful, coy, raw.  although “satisfaction” was just a hair slower than it was on the SNL video way back in the long, long ago, devo still played it was flawless voice and timing.  they moved in unison, with mark jutting around from guitar to keys to pom poms to boojie boy costume to back again.  even though these guys are like, what, fifty?  they’re still outclassing and of higher stamina than most of the bands they’ve influence–so much for de-evolution.

also interesting was the crowd’s intense mixture:  dads, moms, grandmothers, son, hipsters, preps, punks, cowboy hat guys (maybe just hipsters-double-irony?), nerds, muscleshirt clad frat guys–they all came to give the past a slip.  kids were jumping up and down with their parents.  it speaks of the universal qualities of devo’s music.  the themes of disillusion with the present and the uncertainty one might feel about the future speak intergenerationally and thus each generation discovers devo with different yet similar ears and experiences.  and this is all possible because devo refuses to be placed on the shelf that popular music has always tried to place it on–the kitschy and the unnecessary.

but in doing so, the idea of de-evolution has failed–music has evolved and can’t move backwards.

http://www.myspace.com/dandeacon
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cnC1Xzm5uKM
http://www.myspace.com/devo 

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finally I see the futureheads (parenthesis are used in this article; as are hypens)

Posted in music with tags , , , , , , , on June 22, 2008 by MonsoonSeason

the futureheads, man in gray @ pianos june 18

thanks to an interesting bulletin posted tuesday evening (or was it the morning?), I learned that brooklynvegan’s as-of-like-a-week-ago-when-neko-case-played “rock n’ rofl” events at piano’s was to feature my longtime favorites, the futureheads.  not being able to get a ticket at the bowery (no thanks 40 dollar scalper–there probably weren’t “front row seats” available anyhow), I leapt at the chance to catch them in their intimate setting, plus get some comedy and free beers in.

let me go back to when I said the futureheads were longtime favorites:  from their initial inception into US indie culture (in this case “first day” on mtvu) three years ago, I have been firm supporters of the band.  I would sneak tracks on mixtapes, blare them in my car; they started out the second disc to my 21st birthday soundtrack (the first disc went to radiohead, give me a break).  I used to describe them as “a new-school oingo boingo with less new wave and more barbershop quartet.”

but by then, the o.c. had gotten ahold of it and played “decent days and nights” (and debaser!) and all the kids loved “hounds of love” and then “news & tributes” came out and everybody abandoned the futureheads except me.  it wasn’t the s/t, which is good–if I band plays the exact same way they did on their first record, it shows that there was nothing to be alarmed about in the first place (file under the arctic monkeys, the strokes).  “news & tributes” showed a band ready to come out of its shell and explore the world around it–whereas the s/t was the atomic bomb, “news & tributes” was the reconnaissance crew, learning things in the aftermath.  it was expected and appreciated.

newest album, just released a week ago stateside, “this is not the world,” revisits both territories covered, examine what worked (the raw tenacity of the first album & the musicality of the second) and what didn’t (indulgences “return of the beserker,” “danger of the water;” insipid lyrics like that of “stupid and shallow”), and refines out a happy medium that is at once new and familiar.  they have understood what they need to do to succeed and have jotted down the formula–now, if they want to do a rock opera with my chemical romance, it’ll be okay, because I know that they’ll still have the formula for rocking handy.

but anyhow, lived in indiana and never got a chance to see them.  now I did.  luckily, I got to sit through three excellent comedians and a fantastic opening band, brooklyn’s own man in gray, who just played their last show on thursday.  it’s a damn shame for us all that they did.

man in gray was a band that did not fuck around.  they played gritty, aggresive post-punk, whipping lyrics and chords at their audience like wet towels in locker rooms.  there were no synthesizers.  there was no dubstep breaks.  there was screaming, wrapping-of-mics-around-necks-like-impractical-nooses, sleater-kinney vocal patterns, hihat-snare-hihat-bass rock.  they commanded attention and duly received it.  plus, the bass player was very nice and apologetic when he accidentally leaned to far forward causing mic feedback.  it’s this interesting edge that most brooklyn bands teeter on, incidentally–professionally engaged in their work but likable and gracious.

the futureheads took to the stage after a drunken introduction by what was presumably a brooklynvegan staff member (I blame him not–the free kronenbourgs were still available at this point).  they were the pinnacle of class–being born of after-school get-off-drugs programs and being accepted by indie rock culture at large could give a band unprecedented ego, but the futureheads have matured.  they are above this.  they just wanted to come out, play a few songs, make a few jokes with the audience, and then maybe get back to drinking afterwards and singing songs and joking with the audience.  it’s like they didn’t even have to get up there–they just did so because they like playing music.

they played an incredible assortment of songs for such a short amount of time (a little over an hour), they played mostly faster material, getting the crowd amplified and ready to continue their night of drinking, moving through material from all three discs.  Highlight was certainly about twelve songs in’s rendition of “meantime;” in truth, it was just as vibrant and direct as it was three years ago, when I was eighteen, before I drank way too much beer, and that makes me think, “shit, man–this is a band that has motherfuckin’ legs.”
http://www.myspace.com/thefutureheads
http://www.myspace.com/maningray 

I’m one for two on white kids doing african pop

Posted in music with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 17, 2008 by MonsoonSeason

first and foremost, happy bloomsday joyce disciples

professor murder, the hearts of darknesses @ cake shop june 14

while working off a hangover in bryant park, I was unable to catch vampire weekend and kid sister at summerstage in central park. I was doubly dismayed when I heard that the affable andrew w.k. acted as emcee over the proceedings. while I doled out sandwiches to hungry tourists, the rained-out yet cheerful masses were undoubtably partying hard.

but, thanks to a tip from a hungry local, I learned that professor murder was playing at cake shop, so the day was not a waste (besides turning 22). so I had a fantastic dinner, bought some new shoes, and popped down to cake shop, missing the first two opening bands. sorry uuvvwwz and the show is the rainbow.

however, I did get to catch the hearts of darknesses, who rocked intense amounts of ass, and not solely because of the hilarious name. their set-up was loud and abrasive, nervous and horrified, and their songs seemed to die right as they were about to build into something much greater. I loved it not only because it had just the right amount of dissonance, but because it felt thematically in tune with conrad’s book. it seemed that, after opener “shit fan punx get busted,” the band moved further into the gruesome unknown, exploring the darkness with one foot attached firmly to a safety net. at the end of their relatively short set, I had felt that I had been on a journey with the band, making their reprise of “shit fan punx get busted” feel like a victory anthem. the crowd responded positively, and it’s a shame they haven’t recorded an ep yet.

while professor murder set up, I took a quick look around cake shop. the bar/concert venue portion of cake shop (the upstairs being a vegan bakery) was a total dive, but thus far one of my favorite bars in town. the sound was good, the drinks were only moderately overpriced, and it was dingy and leaky. normally, dingy/leaky is a bad thing, but it reminded me of all the crap basement parties I went to back home (having mostly local bands perform reinforced this opinion), and it made me feel welcomed and nostalgic.

plus, the concert-goers were personable and well-spoken! waiting in the wings for the good professor, a man came over and placed a bucket under the aforementioned leaky roof; however, almost as soon as he did, a drunk guy came up from behind and pushed it out of the way. for the rest of the show, I cracked wise with my neighbors about the bucket feeling dismayed that it couldn’t adequately perform its job, and they responded by making jokes of their own. it’s things like that that make me like cake shop over, say, bowery ballroom, where people just keep to themselves. I won’t diss too heavy, though, because I’m probably going to see the futureheads there soon.

anyhow, professor murder came on stage. I was expecting more of a dance punk show, sort of like their “professor murder rides the subway” ep, but to my surprise, they played an reggaeton-inspired show not unlike our good friends from columbia u, vampire weekend.

although not nearly as bookish (more songs about dance, less about punctuation marks), professor murder lived up to their name and killed it. the synthesizer board they built had at two mini keyboards, one full size, a kaoss pad, several pedals, and an mpc poking off of the corner. michael bell-smith, lead vocalist, held the party at a constant throb, occasionally ducking down to the synth board to layer some beats. they stuck mostly to new material, ending the set “for the sound guys” with ‘free stress test.’

happy flag day and happy birthday to me

The Hearts of Darknesses myspace
Professor Murder myspace
okay of course Vampire Weekend myspace

welcome to the apple store, neo-soul

Posted in music with tags , , , on June 11, 2008 by MonsoonSeason

gnarls barkley @ soho apple store, june 10

gnarls barkley popped into the soho apple store to do a quick, stripped-down five song set, meaning only cee-lo, dangermouse, and a guitarist were on hand.  they played “going on,” “run (I’m a natural disaster),” “who’s gonna save my soul,” “a little better,” and a slowed-down version of “crazy,” roughly in that order.  the only song the crowd seemed to recognize was “crazy;” not without merit, mind you, because the slowed-down version is just epic in scale.

I was stuck somewhere in the back, so I couldn’t really see what was going on.  however, they did mention themselves by color, and I could see cee-lo had on a suit, so I can infer they were doing a reservoir dogs theme.  by standing on tip-toes, I noted that the guitarist was constantly rocking out and that cee-lo has the biggest mouth I have ever seen on a man.

the stripped-down versions of their songs lacked the immediacy and tension of the larger orchestral set, but allowed for cee-lo’s magnificently strong vocals to resonate over the tracks like clouds above the sea.  dangermouse seemed to throw on a drum track record and play a organ, while the guitarist occasionally sheathed the axe to throw down a wurlitzer track.  but the focal point of the piece was definitely cee-lo, as it has always been in the two LP history of gnarls barkley.

no pictures, sadly, because it went down right after work and I didn’t bring my camera–I should start keeping it handy, and I hereby resolve to do so:

I resolve to bring my camera wherever I should roam.

colt 45 is a shit beverage (but thank you for the free beer)

Posted in music with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 11, 2008 by MonsoonSeason

curses! (aka drop the lime), snakes say hisss! @ glasslands, june 7
dickhearse @ ParisLondonWestNile, june 7

edit:  I forgot to mention that this was part of the colt 45 tour sponsored by VICE magazine, a fine publication made by intelligent funny people.

this guy

brooklyn is goddamn weird, but it’s nothing like florida apparently

that established, I’m usually okay with the prospect of getting free unlimited beer in a certain amount of time, but the beer they were giving away was colt 45. for the uninitiated, colt 45 is a malt liquor usually sold in 40s to bums and poor/ironic-cool college students, too hip for the gentrified PBR. the vice-sponsored colt 45 tour appealed predominantly to the latter category.

so I got in the glasslands, grabbed a beer, and danced a little bit to the stevie wonder/etta james/ray charles insta-mix thrown together by the house dj. an honest beeradvocate style review of drinking colt 45 for free at the glasslands:

colt 45 (6.1% ABV, pabst brewing company, 16oz aluminum can)
drank straight from the can in a packed meathouse filled with steam

a: n/a
s: heavy hits of corn and carbon contrasting against the wall of humidity and paint melting from the glasslands’ walls
t: bitter and malevolent, colt 45 assures you that you are imbibing low-cost beer. while not as egregious as, say, king cobra, its heavy roasted flavor and malty coating layer to create a generally unpleasant taste
m: watery. easy-going, I guess
d: actually the highlight, because when drank in succession, you don’t really have the on/off bad flavor effect. it’s like eating spicy food–if you keep eating, you don’t get the burn

after I drank ONE colt 45, I had to leave the glasslands for a bit for fear that I might pass out due to heatstroke.

a note about the heat in the glasslands: because of the incredible amount of folks in attendance for curses! (or free beer), compounded with the heatwave dropped on the city as of late, the glasslands sweltered like a dutch oven. at first, they allowed the heat to go unchecked, only later setting up a few fans, but by then it was too late–everyone was a sweaty mess and cold beverages hardly stopped the humidity. as a bartender told me, it was heaven outside, hell inside.

right next door to the glasslands is another concert venue/somebody’s loft, ParisLondonWestNile, where a noise show was going down. the first band up was Florida’s dickhearse, a two piece (or perhaps three piece) wall of sound. I venture a third person because while one guy didn’t play an instrument, he was an integral part of dickherarse’s show.

that would be the almost naked man painted white who tied bungee cords to his thighs and bounced around the room. occasionally, he went outside or listlessly watched the band members slog away on their instruments. they played only one song that I’m pretty sure was at least 25 minutes, which began with a noisy solo on a homemade instrument that I will hencefore dub the ‘fufabo.’ the fufabo is a contraption strapped to one’s shoulders that contains the slide of trombone, pieces of an air vent, a window frame, and part of a stove, all of which was hooked up to a contact mic (it also used to have a drill, but the drill went missing). this fufabo was destroyed at the end of the solo by the player.

I don’t know what inspired these guys. the guitarist and drummer must have sat down one day (the gimp was locked in the pantry, as usual), the guitarist saying ‘uh hey so I know we’re really talented but let’s go ahead and just play a whole bunch of shit at the same time and hopefully it will come together,’ to which the drummer, nodding, responded ‘this is a sound idea.’ the gimp was then lubed up, junk was piled in the aerostar, and off they went around the country.

maybe I just don’t get noise. I like minimal stuff, with minor abrasive sounds, like keith whitman fullerton, or noise hums of bands like demons, but this just seems indulgent. like they’re trying to force something on the audience, but they don’t even know what they’re trying to force. or maybe I just don’t get it. naked gimp gets it, though; that should be enough.

okay. enough noise. more dance.

I went back into the glasslands, missing the first band and arriving just in time for snakes say hisss!. snakes say hisss! consist of a guitarist and a singer wielding an ipod. they play an odd permutation on pop music with a glam’d out rock attitude, piped through a preteen hissy (hisssy?) fit. it was like best fwends but sexier, which was hard to get through at first, but shown through at the end. unlike best fwends, snakes say hisss! had charisma and worked the crowd instead of freaking out and looking at each other too much. highly recommended. I hope they play another show soon, because they didn’t sell any albums at the colt 45 show.

as for curses! (aka drop the lime), I don’t know. it was really good, but the heat definitely got to me. I danced my ass off to snakes say hisss!, so when curses! took the stage, the heat caught up to me and I ended up sitting down on an upstairs couch for the remainder of the show. the only thing I remember–which is unfortunate–is that damn “I like to move it move it” cover that was absurd and hated by me and me alone. it was a huge mistake.

but I learned two important things: first, that snakes say hisss! exist, and second, as weird as brooklyn gets, at least it’s not florida weird.

endgame— (pause) a review of it. (pause) by the playwright Samuel Beckett. (pause)

Posted in writing with tags , , , on June 8, 2008 by MonsoonSeason

perhaps I shouldn’t have started with what is commonly considered Beckett’s masterwork; but, I’m glad I didn’t.

other than having seen a film adaptation of “waiting for godot,” I’m completely unfamiliar with the work of Samuel Beckett.  I know that he’s irish, a nobel prize winner, and a champion (perhaps, founder?) of the theater of the absurd, but I’m not familiar with any of his other works.

over memorial day weekend, I went stoop sale-ing in order to find some cheap garments, books, cds, etc.   I came across a copy of “endgame,” and realizing that I hadn’t read Beckett before, bought it for two dollars.

I read it in one sitting—not a feat, considering that it’s only 84 pages, with a mime entitled “act without words” clocking in at a teensy 5 pages.  from what I have gathered, it’s a tale about four people (hamm, a blind invalid; clov, a submissive young man with the inability to sit; nagg, a brutish head in a jar, father to hamm; nell, wife of nagg, also a head) that hate each other living in a house on the brink of oblivion.  either nuclear holocaust or the end of days or what have you.

it’s different from most plays I’m used to.  for starters, there’s a pause after almost every line of dialogue, written specifically in the dialogue.  coupled with that, the dialogue almost makes no sense.  text go:

NAGG:
   Could you not?
   (Pause.)
   Would you like me to scratch you?
   (Pause.)
   Are you crying?

NELL:
   I was trying.
   (Pause.)

HAMM:
   Perhaps it’s a little vein.
   (Pause.)

I’m not entirely sure why the pauses are so frequent.  I could surmise that the characters just simply hate each other and are trying to cling to their humanity by making small talk, but that interpretation doesn’t seem realistic.  it seems more like they’re just trying to pass, day by day, and bicker amongst themselves in order to feel alive.  as hamm says upon hearing that nagg is crying, “…he’s living.”

what is undeniable is the humor of the piece.  it’s very quick, dry, intensely sardonic humor, but it occasionally had me burst out in laughter.  mostly nagg; nagg is the comic glue that holds the piece together.  he has the ability to turn his child-like behavior on and off, when it seems warranted, in order to get what he wants out of each situation.  of course, he always fails, which brings even more levity into the situation: 

NAGG:
   I want me Pap!

HAMM:
   Give him a biscuit.
   (Exit Clov.)
   Accursed fornicator!  How are your stumps?

NAGG:
  Nevermind me stumps.
  (Enter Clov with biscuit)

CLOV:
   I’m back again, with the biscuit.
  (He gives biscuit to Nagg, who fingers it, sniffs it.)

NAGG (plaintively): 
   What is it?

CLOV:
   Spratt’s medium.

NAGG (as before):
   It’s hard!  I can’t!

again, with the egregious amount of nonstandard English diction rife in “endgame,” it’s a tough cookie to crack; but if you just allow the piece to run its course and not question it, it becomes even funnier.  like a joke your heard other people tell who would then uproar into gasping laughter, you’ll just want to join in to feel like you’re conscious of the humor, too.

the message I still haven’t quite figured out, and I’m not sure if I’m supposed to.  “endgame” is first and foremost an experimental piece, delving into the psyche of the deranged and attempting to discern humor therein.  it almost feels like a character study, which, in my mind, makes it even more interesting theatre—studying and playing simultaneously.

give it a shot.

last long hiatus (or: he decides to blog for real) pt.2

Posted in music with tags , , , , , , on June 4, 2008 by MonsoonSeason

maybe after hey willpower was a bit ambitious, considering that the show let out around 1 and I had a few wines.

owen pallett @ bang on a can, may 30

not to dog on any of the other artists at bang on a can, but I came for one reason–mr. owen pallett.

I’ve been a big fan of final fantasy, owen’s main project, since I stumbled across “please please please” on tomlab’s website maybe four years ago. for those who don’t know, owen has also contributed string work to the arcade fire, grizzly bear, jim guthrie, and tons others. also remixed stars, also made video game music, also fronted les mouches (now defunct)–he gets around.

I had the esteemed pleasure to hang out with owen a couple years ago when I drove to cincinnati to see him with alex lukashevsky (also great). he and his boyfriend patrick were loading equipment and I was nervous (he was really my first celebrity boy-crush) so I sat down on the curb outside the venue and started playing my DS. he pops his head out, asks what I’m playing, and invites me to come in and play mario kart. then I hung out with he, patrick, and alex for eight or so hours (I was very early), watched the show, ate a burrito at skyline chili, and went home.

now whenever I see final fantasy (only one other time), I get all nervous and excited again, because it feels like my friend is up there playing. imagine what it was like when you saw your friends play battle of the bands in high school, and it’s like that, whether it’s a justified feeling or not.

SO the great owen pallett came on stage and played three final fantasy songs, the first being an initally subdued version of “he poos clouds” which developed into a roaring cry at the end. the second song wasn’t new, he said so in the preface, so it must have been off of Tomlab’s Alphabet release “X.” the third I assume was off of the upcoming heartland lp simply because the arrangement was so vastly different from the first two records. it almost felt glitchy, was certainly percussive, and added a different, happy frenetic feel to his tender vocals. needless to say, I can’t wait for the new album. baited breath, right here.

after his short showcase, he invited the bang on a can all-stars to come out to perform “twelve polearms,” a conceptual piece about the music of the future destroyers of earth, the Ogg. you can hear his explanation in full here: (RS)

the composition rested mostly on a oscillating frequency, occasionally changing octaves. it sounded spacy–think logan’s run, or old star trek. other elements jumbled in–guitar, percussion, piano, until it mixed in a big musical soup, which them proceeded to breathe and press against the plastic bubble of the composition, testing the waters. it never seemed to get jammy, which is good–I’ve spoken already about how I can’t deal with jazz or jam sessions. then owen captured all of the performers with loop pedals and messed with them sonically, eventually removing elements, just as would be typical in his description of ogg culture. a nearly perfect piece–if only it had been a little longer.

dan deacon played at 4am, but I decided to go home and sleep after owen’s set. it seemed like enough.

hey willpower, dynasty handbag, the most holy trinity @ glasslands, june 2

speaking of tomlab artists, hey willpower sauntered down to the disjointed glasslands (in a good way–like a rummage sale) to play their last US tour date.

I’m starting to learn things about the smaller venues of new york–they’re never going to start on time. from now on, if I’m going to any venue where the ticket costs less than $20, I’m not going to freak out about getting there on time. after doors open, there’s usually 20 minutes or so of silence, then the dj comes out and plays for a bit too long, so if the door’s at 8, the band starts about 9:30-10. gone are the halcyon days off door’s at 8, show’s at 8:30-9. but, this is the big city–they do things differently.

so around 10, the most holy trinity get onstage. they do big beat, sexy pop music, sort of like YACHT, but with two girl singers as back-up. thing is, it’s weirdly desexualized, most likely because the back-up singers move like androids and vogue like they were built to do it. it’s like kraftwerk covering late madonna, or britney spears without all the terrible. it was fun to watch–but it was so visual, that I think I might have a hard time just listening to it.

dynasty handbag played next, which was essentially a tiny bob-bomb of creativity cavorting to and fro on stage. part-tortured artist, part-electro, part-absurdist comedy, every move dynasty handbag made (only one person, by the by) was intriguing and hilarious. I find it (as did she–read on) hard to describe–youtube up some videos. I got a chance to talk to dynasty handbag after her set:

nox5: how did you come up with the concept for dynasty handbag?
Dynasty Handbag (Jibz Cameron): It was sort of born naturally from just fucking around on a four-track and then I started talking to myself in between the songs I was making; and they were sort of like, self-conscious references to what I was doing and then it just sort of developed into the… what it is. I don’t know, it’s gone through a lot of different phases.
nox5: what would you call what you do?
DH: uh, performance–I don’t know.
nox5: performance?
DH: yeah. I mean, I just try to describe it to people like, “oh, I make…” it’s kind of music based, but I do a lot of audio voiceover, but I also do, like, full theater productions–

at this point a dude stumbles into the back room, beverage messily sloshing in hand.

guy: do you know where the bathroom is?
DH: uh, yeah, behind the bar.
nox5: behind the bar.
guy: oh, okay, thanks.

exit guy.

DH: uh… (laughs)
nox5: (laughs)
DH: (high-pitched, like a chipper flight attendant) right here, in my mouth!
nox5: yeah, exactly. it’s in this room!
DH: yeah! right!
nox5: thank you for coming, y’know?
DH: (laughs) but yeah, sometimes I do straight-up performance and other times it’s in music venues
nox5: it seems to me through you costumes and posturing that you’re being satirical of something–M.I.A. immediately comes to mind.
DH: oh, no, I’m not trying to make fun of her–not at all, I love her! The outfit I was wearing tonight was a little bit weird because I knew I was going to be really hot–I mean, there always really weird–
nox5: right.
DH: mostly I just wear stuff that I find ridiculous, like, would anyone buy that or wear that?
nox5: like the internet sweater girl!
DH: oh yeah, leslie hall, she’s awesome.
nox5: do you come up with most of your content spontaneously? I knew you said after one of your songs that you came up with lyrics on the fly.
DH: oh, when I’m performing? yeah, it’s just like a loose structure and I know some things I’m going to do and other things I’ll just wing it, y’know? I have a background in improvisational stuff, so.
nox5: do you? did you do improv comedy, or..?
DH: yeah, I did some theater stuff, took some classes. I’ve never been, like, a stand-up or anything like that, but I like it. so I don’t feel like I have to be in some rigid group.
nox5: which is the nice thing about improvisation.
DH: right! it’s loose.

hey willpower started almost immediately after dynasty handbag, so I missed the first song. like every other band, hey willpower specialized in phat electro beats and emotionalism. they played a pretty good set, as I recall, but I was still thinking about dynasty handbag’s oddball performance to really concentrate on hey willpower. plus the pinot was kicking in.

http://www.myspace.com/mostholytrinity 
http://www.myspace.com/dynastyhandbag 
http://www.myspace.com/heywillpower