Thursday, December 20, 2018

Don’t Be Mean To People (Day 2) at Ponysaurus Brewing - 10/20/2018

Don’t Be Mean To People
Day 2
Ponysaurus Brewing
10/20/2018


Mini rock festival!  This is the third year they’ve done this sort of all-day rock thing at Ponysaurus involving local bands both big and small, and at least the second year where they used the event to raise money for the ACLU (the first year was the 11th anniversary celebration for Bull City Records, but I’m not entirely sure what the fiscal motivations were one way or another).  This year was actually a two day event, but I only caught the back half of Saturday - and it was a COOKER.  Best of all, they had two stages set up, so as soon as one act finished the next would be starting within just a few minutes.  There was a healthy crowd but it never felt crowded, the weather was pristine, and tons of food trucks – it’s damn near a perfect event.   

I caught the last couple of songs from Tooth, a local metal act that has been around for what seems like forever but who play only rarely.  Or maybe they’ve been broken up for ages and this was a reunion? I dunno, but either way I wish I’d gotten there to see more of it – I dig the type of metal they’re serving up, heavy and aggressive and a little stoner-ish…to make the laziest comparison possible, since both are North Carolina products, if you like Weedeater you’d probably like Tooth.  I’m really shit at describing metal bands – what I do know is I’m picky with the bands I actually like in this genre, but these guys definitely pass the test.  As required by law, all five members of the band had beards; no facial hair citations were issued.

I always ask myself “do I need to take more photos of Spider Bags?”, and then I usually proceed to take more photos of Spider Bags.  In this case, this was my first time taking outdoor photos of the band during the golden hour, which gave some decent results.  Something I’ve never asked myself is “do I need to see Spider Bags play again?”, because the only possible answer to that question is yes.  Scratch that: FUCK YES.  The band is still a three piece like the last time I saw them - no idea where the other guitarist went.  I wouldn’t say he’s necessary to enjoy the music of Spider Bags, but I did enjoy that extra layer of guitar at their live shows.   It was otherwise a typical, great performance by them, with the added bonus of revealing their definitely completely original Halloween song called “Have Love, Jack-O-Lantern” that was in no way a slightly modified cover of “Have Love, Will Travel,” made famous by the Sonics. 

Work Clothes were up next – I guess they were a thing a decade or so ago, which totally escaped me at the time, and this was a rare reunion.  The group is a duo, guy and gal, who are seemingly a couple of some sort (there was some talk of kids and babysitters).  Both played guitar and sang, it was very low key and ethereal.  There were a couple of moments that reminded me a bit of Low, and a couple of others that made me think of Julee Cruse/Twin Peaks.  It was fine but after a couple of songs I used the rest of their set as a chance to rest at one of the many outdoor picnic tables at Ponysaurus.

The entire band dressed completely in white, Skylar Gudasz was up next with her goddamn golden voice that is so melodious and heavenly it almost makes me angry.  I’ve been stuck trying to think of what to write about her, and getting nowhere – much like watching Skylar live, your mind goes blank while she performs her hypnotic Carpenters-esque soft pop.  It’s all held together by her incredible, professional-grade backing band that included Casey Toll and Joe Westerlund.  Her album “Oleander” from 2016 is a good listen, but live she achieves another level – any chance you get to see her perform make every effort to do it.   

From past experience, I assumed the acoustic version of Superchunk would be Mac and Jim and a pair of acoustic guitars, and I was correct.  I saw this same configuration ten years ago in the middle of the day at some sort of election rally at UNC (also featuring Billy Bragg, Bowerbirds, and others); it’s only fitting we’re seeing this version of the band in another important election year, and no one talked more about the importance of voting this night more than Mac.  Other than the voting angle, it was a pretty typical set – some new songs from their most recent record “What A Time To Be Alive,” coupled with plenty of their classics like “Detroit Has a Skyline” and “Learned To Surf” and “Water Wings” and…you get the point.  They actually didn’t play end-of-set staple “Slack Motherfucker,” which I suspect was because there were a number of kids running around the grounds and Mac, being a parent himself, decided to keep things PG.

The big finale of the night was Wye Oak, fresh off a long tour and as tight as an overinflated balloon.  They were surprisingly performing as a three piece, with local musician Will Hackney (Loamlands, Midtown Dickens, Mount Moriah, probably every other band from Durham) helping on bass.  I have no idea as to the temporary or permanent nature of this particular line-up, but it worked well and anything that keeps Jenn Wasner on guitar as much as possible is a keeper (not that she isn’t also an amazing bassist…hell, she’s amazing at everything).  It appears the trade where we sent Future Islands to Baltimore a few years ago was finally completed, as drummer Andy Stack has now also moved to the Triangle, following Jenn who made her way down here a few years ago.  Will this result in more frequent local Wye Oak shows?  Jenn living here hasn’t resulted in an increase in the Flock of Dimes performance I had hoped for, so I’m not holding my breath…but at least we can call them “ours” now.  I’ve seen Wye Oak live a number of times and it’s always fantastic, but this might have been the best I’ve ever seen them – and I say that even though they didn’t play my favorite song, “Holy Holy.”  There were lots of tracks from “The Louder I Call, The Faster It Runs,” a smattering of classics, and one of the best Kate Bush covers (“Deeper Understanding”) this side of Maxwell.  This band is flawless and at the height of their powers, and I’m already excited about the next time I get to see them, whenever that might be. 

The Rock*A*Teens / Spider Bags at Kings - 9/21/2018

The Rock*A*Teens
With Spider Bags
Kings
9/21/2018


I was truly shocked at the low turnout at this show…Hopscotch hangover maybe?  Both bands just released excellent new albums on local label Merge, and based on the many times I’ve seen each in the past, both are well liked.  Hell, I’ve seen both of these acts so many times (particularly Spider Bags) that I didn’t even bother to bring my camera, I’ve already got so many photos of each.

Spider Bags were performing as a three piece without that extra guitarist who doesn’t appear to really be in the band but plays with them sometimes.  They knocked out all of their hits – “Keys To The City,” “Que Viva Elrocanrol,” etc. – plus a ton of tracks from their latest “Someday Everything Will Be Fine.”  Most notably, “Oxcart Blues” from the new one is now a part of their “hits” in my book, moving forward, as decreed by me.  That track burns.

The Rock*A*Teens followed more or less the same formula as Spider Bags – plenty (if not nearly all) of their latest album “Sixth House,” plus a smattering of older songs from before their most recent reunion.  Say what you will about old bands reforming as a nostalgic cash grab, but this most recent work by Chris Lopez & company might be my favorite music they’ve ever recorded - and it translates nicely to the stage.  Speaking of tracks that burn – “Go Tell Everybody” is one of the best songs of the year, and was definitely my highlight of their set.  Just the mention of that song gets it stuck in my head for days.  Not a bad problem to have…

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Hopscotch Music Festival, Day Three around downtown Raleigh - 9/6/2018

Hopscotch Music Festival
Day Three
Downtown Raleigh
9/8/2018

We've hit the home stretch - the final night of Hopscotch.  I kicked my evening off with MC50, which was a supergroup comprised of the only suriving member of MC5, Wayne Kramer, and a rotating cast of well-known musicians assisting him.  On this night he had Brendan Canty (Fugazi) on drums, Kim Thayil (Soundgarden) on guitar, Billy Gould (Faith No More) on bass, and Rob Tyner doppelganger Marcus Durant (Zen Guerrilla) doing most of the vocals.  They performed the classic MC5 album "Kick Out The Jams" in it's entirety (plus maybe more in the encore that I missed).  Like the Revolution the night before, did it feel like I was watching a cover band?  It did, as I honestly expected it to.  Was it still goddamn enjoyable?  It sure was.  Clearly, the musicianship was off the charts with this group, and how can you not be happy hearing "Kick Out The Jams" played live?

After a while I moved up to Slims to see some of Karaoke, out of Atlanta.  Have fun trying to google that band name.  A five piece with a female singer that reminded me of Sloane from "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," I'm pretty sure I fell in love with her and I'm quite certain I wasn't alone.  They too were on that swirly 90s indie pop vibe that so many of the young kids seem into these days, which I'm totally fine with for the record.  To bring up a reference I seem to make at least once a year (if not more these days), if this band existed in 1995 they would have definitely been signed to Teenbeat.  I was definitely intrigued and would like to hear their recordings, and are worth checking out if you get a chance.

From there I moved down to the Pour House and ended up catching the last couple of songs by Nicolay And The Hot At Nights.  I know the Hot At Nights (though the one dude who is also in the Mountain Goats is on tour with them and not able to be in two places at once), and apparently Nicolay works with local rapper Phonte, but I wasn't sure what to expect from the collaboration.  The overall vibe was a little too...jazz fusion for my tastes, but at the same time everyone on the stage was so goddamn talented it was still interesting to watch them practice their craft.

I was on the fence about going to the Yonatan Gat show at all.  Praise be to whatever god or flying spaghetti monster it was convinced me to stay at the Pour House to see the former Monotonix frontman, because it was probably my favorite performance of the entire festival.  It's days later and I still can't stop thinking about it.  Yonatan was backed by a bassist and drummer, and the music was (mostly) an instrumental swirl of jazz, surf, garage and a little Middle Eastern flair that words will never, ever do justice.  It was heavy but not metal, and repetitively hypnotizing without going fully into krautrock territory.  Monotonix were always known for their insane performances, not the musicianship, so I was doubly impressed to see how goddamn amazing Gat was on guitar - a double-necked 12+6 string white Epiphone SG for the record, that was completely bad ass.  I was nonplussed by his latest full-length, because it sure as shit didn't sound like this, but this show has me wanting to revisit anyways just to experience even a small amount of this amazing show again.

I trucked down to the Lincoln Theatre, my final venue of this year's festival, to see the last few from Sarah Shook And The Disarmers.  This gal has been getting a lot of buzz this past year, and that showed from how packed the venue was.  I assumed at least some of that crowd was people there early for the Jayhawks, but the amount that left after she finished proved she was clearly the draw (also, those people who left early are idiots).  Sarah plays straight-forward, ass kickin', old fashioned honky tonk country - no preening, no hipster bullshit, just songs like "The Bottle Never Lets Me Down" and "Nothin' Feels Right But Doin' Wrong."  Hell, she wears a knife on her hip during the concert, this is a woman who is not here for any bullshit.  Side note: the locally famous John Howie is in her band - he's probably best known for being in Two Dollar Pistols, but to me he'll always be from the still underrated Finger. 

Finally, the Jayhawks, the last band of Hopscotch.  They were also one of my most anticipated bands of the festival, being the only act that I was already a big fan of that I had never seen live.  How I've never seen them I have no idea, it's just one of those weird things like the fact I've never seen a James Bond movie - it doesn't have to make sense to be true.  I was shocked to learn that band frontman Gary Louris had recently moved to Gibsonville, which is in the middle of nowhere in the vicinity of Greensboro - who even knew moving there was something anyone would ever want to do!  Key member Mark Olson might be gone, but they sounded as good as ever - the long set list was packed with basically every "hit" song you might ever want from them..."Blue," "Tailspin," "Save It For a Rainy Day," etc.  Unlike the other "nostalgia" acts they might get lumped with at Hopscotch, the Jayhawks are still an active, working band, and also played plenty of their most recent excellent release "Back Roads And Abandoned Motels." After (shockingly) lasting the entire duration of their very late set, it was time to put this event and myself to bed. 

Until next year!  Man, I'm already tired thinking about it.  

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Hopscotch Music Festival, Day Three (Day Parties) at Kings - 9/6/2018

Hopscotch Music Festival
Day Three (Day Parties)
Downtown Raleigh
9/8/2018

Every year, I have no real plans to go to any Hopscotch day parties - I have a hard enough time keeping up my stamina just for the evening festivities.  And then pretty much every year, there's some reason why I actually need to go to at least one of them.  This year, that reason was Eric Bachmann, who wasn't playing the main festival but was playing the Merge party at Kings.  Considering my level of fandom for everything the man has ever released, my attendance was guaranteed.  He was touring to support his new record "No Recover," bringing along a small backing band (electric guitar, stand up bass, three piece drums), and as expected he played a few songs off of that excellent new album (an album that will surely be one of my favorites on the year).  He also threw in the classic "Crowned In Chrome" and a couple of tracks from his previous self-titled release, "Mercy" and "Dreaming."  I was kinda hoping Skylar Gudasz would show up to handle the female portions of those last two songs like has happened in the past, but that did not come to fruition.  My only complaint is the set was way, way, WAY too short...such is the nature of these day parties.   

Eric wasn't the only thing I saw this afternoon, might as well catch a couple of other bands while I was out of the house.  I also saw Joyero, who played just before Bachmann; it's the name that Wye Oak drummer Andy Stack performs under.  Despite being one of the best drummers I've ever seen, there is zero drumming in Joyero, or at least zero live drumming.  The music was a mix of computer tracks, keys/synths, random other electronics, and sometimes he played guitar - all paired with his very Doug Martsch-like vocals.  I got a Casiotone for the Painfully Alone vibe from many of the songs (or Advance Base if you want me to be more current with my comparisons) - well-crafted, downer electro-pop that's still enjoyable.  I found it interesting & humorous that he played a HeCTA cover; I realized it was a Merge artist's side project covering another Merge artist's side project (HeCTA is Kurt Wagner of Lambchop and a couple of friends).  The crowd was way too fucking loud and could have taken all that talking outside, but that's just the nature of a day party.  Plus, to be fair, it was fucking hot outside and the beer was cold inside.

I caught one last act after Bachmann before heading back home for a dinner break - Speed Stick.  All I knew coming in was Speed Stick involved Laura King from Bat Fangs / Flesh Wounds, and that was enough for me to stick around and see what it was all about.  Turns out it was her and Love Language drummer Tom Simpson both playing a mega-drum kit, face-to-face, sharing a mutual bass drum with pedals on either side.  Add to that a couple of guitarists coloring the proceedings, and you got a performance that was one long improv jam that was very drum heavy, obviously.  Should I mention that one of the guitarists was ASH FUCKING BOWIE?!?!?  I didn't fan out on the Polvo godhead, but part of me really wanted to.  I have no idea if Speed Stick is a real band or just a thing friends do on a lark every once in a while, but I liked it either way.  And anything that gets more Ash Bowie on stage is a good thing, even if he's standing in the background noodling on his guitar with his back to the crowd.      

Monday, September 10, 2018

Hopscotch Music Festival, Day Two around downtown Raleigh - 9/7/2018

Hopscotch Music Festival
Day Two
Downtown Raleigh
9/7/2018

I was so disinterested in the big stage acts this second night of Hopscotch I didn't even bother showing up until the club shows were up and running.  First stop: Kings for Patois Counselors.  It's been a little while since the last time I saw them, but they're now up to seven members apparently.  At least Kings has a large stage, I have no idea how they pull off a show at venues the size of Slims.  The crowd was surprisingly large from the start, and they were treated to a terrific performance of jittery, paranoid punk - like if the Fall had come from the New York No Wave scene instead of the UK.  The drummer never seems to be playing a 4/4 beat; despite having two guitarists, their addition is often sparse and almost never used as rhythm; the Joe Lally-cloned bassist seems to be the load-bearing beam of the group, holding the whole thing together and allowing the singer to glare and growl and occasionally ring tiny bells and blow whistles.  A great start to the night - I really need to get off my lazy ass and go see them more often. 

I stayed at Kings to check out the next band, Empath.  A four piece from Philly, they had two keyboardists, no bass, and at least one member wearing a neon orange mesh tank top.  It was a noisy synth pop sort of thing, like the Cocteau Twins gone punk maybe.  I think the Cocteau Twins might be my go-to for any band that has a female singer and somewhere in the neighborhood of the noisy/shoegaze/C86 sound, I've just listened to them too damn much in my life and it colors everything.  They had their moments, but I wasn't totally feeling it so I peaced out after a few tracks.  I think the ingredients are there for this to become something I would like, but only time will tell.  At a minimum I wouldn't be surprised to hear more from the singer, I think she might have "it" though I'm not entirely sure what "it" is at this moment.  

It was down to the Basement to check out Breathers next.  A trio from Atlanta with a singer that was dressed like a WWII soldier on leave and performed like he might be the little brother of Har Mar Superstar, the band was all synth and keys, all the time (with occasional stripped-down drums during some of their songs).  Since I didn't recognize any of the songs we can safely assume they aren't an Erasure cover band, but it would be an easy mistake to make based on the earnest, VERY eighties synth pop they played.  Occasionally it actually felt too earnest, veering into musical theater territory, but the music was pretty rad throughout.  I just love some damn keyboard pop, is that so wrong?

I had such a good spot from Breathers, front and center, that I decided to stay put in the Basement for the Revolution because...well, why the hell not.  Like most living, breathing humans, I loved Prince, but I had no idea what to make of his former band touring and performing his songs.  The group went five deep, and were all original Revolution members from their first run: the well known Wendy & Lisa, the keyboardist that plays in scrubs and is probably named "Doctor Funkhaus" or something, and, uh, the other two dudes - one of which (the bassist) did most of the singing.  Truthfully - it felt like watching a cover band...but a really, really good cover band that full of incredible musicians that knew this music inside-out.  Everyone knows what a good guitarist Prince was, but the secret weapon of that band was always Wendy Melvoin - it was truly a treat to watch her play live.  I just recently learned she is the daughter of one of the musicians in the legendary session band the Wrecking Crew; all of the sudden it makes sense why she was so good at such a young age, I'm sure she was practically born with an instrument in her hand.  They played almost nothing but the hits, and I stuck around for a few of them - "Erotic City," "Computer Blue," and "Raspberry Beret," off the top of my head.  I missed some other bands I'd planned on seeing to enjoy this nostalgia act, but they were damn fun.

The final piece of the night's puzzle would be Red Fang at the Lincoln Theatre.  I had to miss them entirely at Carolina Rebellion earlier this year because they played at exactly the same time as Baroness, so I was making a point to make sure I saw at least a few songs by them this time.  What do you even call the kind of metal these guys play?  It's loud and heavy but not growly and scowly (those are scientific terms)...is "happy metal" a genre?  The band members actually smile and look like they're having fun.  Just because it's heavy doesn't mean it has to be serious, people.  They did a cover of Tubeway Army's "Listen To The Sirens," which might have been my single favorite moment of the entire festival.  It seems like they might exist in a weird space where they don't take metal seriously enough for the purists, but are too heavy for the non-metalheads, but what the hell do I know.  What I do know is they are very good, they are fun, and you should give them a listen if you haven't already.  You never know, you might like them so much you try to dry hump half the audience like that one gal who was roaming the crowd (I suspect she may have done somewhere between some and all of the drugs this evening).  

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Hopscotch Music Festival, Day One around downtown Raleigh - 9/6/2018

Hopscotch Music Festival
Day One
Downtown Raleigh
9/6/2018

It's that time of year again - Hopscotch!  Also: the meticulous planning of your schedule that you will never stick to, the bemoaning of multiple bands you want to see all playing at the same time, and the bellyaching about how tired Hopscotch is going to make you.  It's one of the best parts of the entire year...I just wish it wasn't so damn hot.  I wouldn't get mad if they moved it back a month to the first of October.

I kicked off my festival with the Flaming Lips at City Plaza.  They played this festival at this same location in 2011, and in a lot of ways not much had changed.  They actually played more old songs this time - I don't think they played more than two or three tracks that were released after "Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots."  Give the crowd what they want and all that - I ain't complaining.  If you are all familiar with the band and their live shenanigans, it goes without saying that the spectacle of it all almost outpaced the actual musical performance - balloons, confetti, giant props, lasers, huge video screens, an actual inflatable giant pink robot, people dancing inside of inflated eyeballs...you get the drill.  Front man Wayne Coyne took not one but two trips into the audience: he rode his see-through hamster ball on top of the crowd, which he's been doing for years - this time while performing a cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity."  There was also a new (or at least new-to-me) addition of a giant plastic light-up horse on wheels Wayne rides on top of that the roadies roll through the crowd (during this bit of art he performed one of the newer songs whose name I've already forgotten).  The man really had a bee in his bonnet about the crowd not singing along enough, and lectured them multiple times...I'm not saying shut up and sing, but once was enough to get the point across, and at some point the "lessons" on how to be an audience become detrimental.  Despite that, I enjoyed myself because I think you'd have to be in some kind of funk not to have a smile on your face for most of a Flaming Lips set.

With the large outdoor portion of the evening over, I strolled up to it's polar opposite, Slims, to catch Das Drip.  I had honestly just intended to see part of their set en route to somewhere else, but they only played 15 minutes  - they were done before I was!  Most would probably just call them hardcore, but there's a strange/off-kilter angle to Das Drip that sets them just slightly apart.  Given that three-fourths of the band were once in my beloved Whatever Brains, their new band being a weird version of a known genre shouldn't be surprising.  The one non-WB member is the singer, a young gal with a lot of energy who paced around like a caged animal the entire time.  It was a packed house and a good performance, even if half the crowd was confused why it ended so quickly. 

I thought I was getting to the Basement of the Convention Center early enough to catch part of Skeletonwitch's set, but a last-minute thirty minute shift in the schedule meant I missed them entirely, but luckily I got there just moments before Sleep took the stage.  I like this space as a Hopscotch venue but I kinda hate the way it is set up - the huge gulf between the stage and the crowd due to a shit ton of giant speakers on the ground surrounded by stupid barriers wreaked havoc on my desire to get some good photos of the band.  But shit, at least they sounded great, which is why we're here anyways!  Matt Pike had a literal wall of Orange amps behind him, which you could not only see and hear but also feel.  Should I also point out he was shirtless?  Who am I kidding, of course he was.  I'm not sure what to say about Sleep from a review angle at this point - the stoner metal godfathers sounded as good as ever, heavy and deliberate and the dude-heavy crowd was FEELING IT.  Watching Al Cisneros play bass in person is one of life's true joys.  The man is a wizard.  

Since Sleep was over earlier than expected, I took an audible from my prepared schedule and went up to Kings to see Lee Ranaldo for my final performer of the night.  Why Lee Ranaldo?  In the event you don't know, he was one of the founding members of a little group called Sonic Youth, you should check them out sometime if you enjoy music!  Snark aside, I've now seen half of Sonic Youth at Kings (Thurston Moore also played there as part of Chelsea Light Moving a few years ago), which is kinda mind blowing given the size of the club.  Ranaldo had a drummer backing him, and he kicked his set off with some improv where Lee used drumsticks and violin bows and whatever else he had handy to make a racket, but after 10-15 minutes the noise slowly morphed into more straight-forward indie rock jams that would have felt right in place on most any Sonic Youth album (note to self: check out his solo records, I hear they sound very Sonic Youth).  It was quite good, but all good things must come to an end and I drug my tired carcass to my car, knowing I had two more nights to go. 

Friday, September 7, 2018

Oneida / Nest Egg / Demon Eye at Kings - 8/3/2018

Oneida
With Nest Egg and Demon Eye
Kings
8/3/2018


Despite a general aversion to three bands in one night these days, I made a point to get to Kings in time to catch some of Demon Eye.  I’m at a total loss as to why they were on a bill with a couple of kraut-esque indie bands, but if bookers want to start throwing metal and indie rock together in one show that’s fine by me.  Demon Eye are particularly special in my book, because almost no one is playing this type of metal anymore – the early eighties/New Wave of British Heavy Metal kind.  Heavy but not sludgy or stony or speedy, plenty of flair and shredding but not so much it distracts, and most importantly (to me), no Cookie Monster vocals - think Iron Maiden, Accept, early Wasp, etc.  You could probably throw an AC/DC comparison in there too.  Also, they seem like they’re having a damn good time – metal is way too serious, and these guys seem to know it.

Nest Egg might be pseudo-local (in this case, Asheville), but this was my first time actually seeing them live.  They play down here a few times a year, and folks I trust raved about them after the last Hopscotch, but it took my listening to their most recent record “Nothingness Is Not A Curse” to finally get motivated enough to see them live.  Well, that and getting paired with Oneida, who I almost never miss – but I was genuinely looking forward to Nest Egg.  They do the whole krautrock-psyche-repetitive thing, and even if they weren’t playing with Oneida I might compare the two of them…Moon Duo/Wooden Shjips fans would also probably dig what they’re laying down.  Live, there was an extra layer of something there you don’t hear on the album…darkness, menacing, I dunno.  I’m sure them turning out the lights and running their own strobes helped that vibe.  For some reason I couldn’t stop thinking about Suicide (the band, not the action), and I suppose that might be a reasonable act to throw into the comparison blender.  Worth noting: they’re only a four-piece, but they have two drummers!  I’ve seen two drummers a fair number of times, but the bands are always larger.  And the guitarist plays a tiny 12-string guitar the entire time, which might have be even stranger!  These facts are neither here nor there, I just found them odd/interesting.  Much like Nest Egg themselves.   

Like an amoeba, Oneida seems to take a different shape every time I see them.  Tonight they were a four piece, with drums, guitar, and a double dose of synths/keys.  Well, if we’re being honest a quadruple dose since both dudes were playing two key-based instruments each, plus scads of other electronics.  They took the stage, made some jokes, and then launched into a brain-burning “Sheets Of Easter” that went on for damn near 20 minutes.  It was pummeling, mesmerizing, and glorious.  That was definitely the highlight, but the set continued in the same fashion – jokes then rock until they closed out their night with a cover of the Flipper song “Way Of The World.”  As always they combined the repetitive/hypnotic vibe of krautrock with heavy psyche and noise rock – it was, as always, completely engrossing.  I’m already excited for the next time they come back to town.