Another night of complicated rhythmically off guitar music
to be enjoyed alone. I guess this is what i get for enjoying
music unpopular with the other Minions. Oh well.... Everyone
else was off enjoying Lambchop, and i sat alone at The Earl
with a beer, my notebook, and some nice guitar music.
The first band tonight was The Remuxers. They kept saying that
they were local, and that it had been a while since they had
performed live, so i guess they are a (somewhat) older ATL math
band. They can't have been around for too long, because the
members all looked younger than me.
The Remuxers are a standard power trio of bass, drums, and
guitar. All three members seemed technically proficient, and
they worked well together. The guitarist had some interesting
stylistic things going on, most notably that he would sometimes
play with both hands in the middle of the fretboard, tapping
strings with flying fingers. It looked like somebody playing
flamenco but sounded like a keyboard. It was a neat effect,
and it was never overused but was instead balanced with more
traditional fingering styles.
Their songs were interesting studies in rhythmic dynamics.
What was annoying about this band is the amount of time it took
them to de-tune between each song. Basically, they would play
for 10 minutes (one song), then have to spend 5 minutes re-tuning
the bass and guitar to whatever wierd configuration the next
song used. Now, i am all for using odd tunings -- you can get
some neat sounds out of that. However, these people either need
to carry more guitars with them (each guitar tuned appropriately),
hire a guitar tech, or play two or three songs in a row in the
same tuning. The crowd grew visibily annoyed at the too long
wait between each song....
Other than that they were pretty cool.
After The Remuxers left the stage, the crowd had to wait a
long time while Rizzudo set up their complicated maze of amplifiers
and keyboards. I have seen Rizzudo twice before, and each time
found their blend of synthpop and hardcore punk to be interesting.
However, in order to achieve their sound they have to set up
three keyboards and a lot of pedals, etc. It just takes a while.
So, again, i waited.
Eventually when they started to play, i was reminded of the
crazy energy of the band. Their songs tend to be full speed
ahead -- each member banging their instrument as loud they can.
This aesthetic, combined with the harmonized screaming of the
two guitarist/keyboardists really gives off the energy of an
old hardcore punk act. It makes a fascinating juxtaposition
with the synth pop of their keybaords.
I dunno, i still can't decide whether or not i really like
Rizzudo. They are, however, very different. And at least they
seem to be passionate about whatever it is they are screaming
about. In my book, passion in music is a good thing. Tonight,
i enjoyed their set more than i ever have before.
Rizzudo took down their gear much faster than they set it up,
and immediately the members of Tristeza began setting up their
gear. This band really knew what they were doing, and one interesting
choice they made during their brief soundcheck was to have NO
instruments coming through the monitors. This was an act of
inspired brilliance, and i don't know exactly why they did it
but i applaud them.
I know that we here at EvilSponge have developed sort of a
reputation for commenting overtly much on the sound quality
at certain establishments, and The Earl has often been the target
of our ire. The mix that we hear in the crowd can be atrocious,
and tonight it was a little muddy. Some of the sounds would
blend together during The Remuxers and Rizzudo, and sometimes
it was hard to hear a part clearly. With Rizzudo that might
be part of their punk ethos and therefore intentional. However,
on the whole i would say the sound was the usual wall i expect
at The Earl.
Except for Tristeza. For Tristeza it was perfect. In fact,
i don't think that it has ever sounded better there. Why? The
only thing i can think of is that some portion of the problem
has to do with the monitors. Tristeza didn't use the monitors,
and they sounded great. A little too quiet when someone around
me would yell at his buddy, but on the whole i could hear all
of the notes clearly. So: hopefully The Earl noted this as well,
and they will soon invest in some new monitors, or urge musicians
to rely on the monitors less and their amplifiers more....
At any rate, i could hear each chiming note of Tristeza's complex
guitar and organ interplay clearly. The notes positively danced
with one another. If anything, i think their sound came across
even better live than it does on record. It's has a rich complexity
that arises from the careful use of minimalism: no one part
sounds all that complex, but combined it's an amazing texture.
It was wonderful sitting in one of The Earl's comfy chairs just
Plus, they were done around 1, which put me at home and in
bed at a (relatively) decent hour. On the whole, a good night.