Saturday, July 21, 2007

Post Show Wrap-up: Chic Nerve, Eagle-Ager, Slim Castle, Boyzone @ Velvet Lounge



Thursday July 19, was billed as "an evening of dadaist performance art, interpretive dance, experimental electronic music, and accompanying visuals." Boyzone from North Carolina open and the first 5 minutes were promising. The 3 girl-3 boy ensemble generated a din of cymbal crashes, metal thumps and droning vocals. But some equipment malfunctions pushed the group into pre-workout stretching & muck making like pigs rolling in a noise mud bath. Slightly amusing, but sonically uninteresting...their 15 minute set was about 18 minutes too long.

Next up Slim Castle, (ex-Kohoutek) on electric guitar with visual projections, which to his (and the audience's) amusement didn't actually project during his set. Synth guitar marred by factory presets inspired by the worst of 80s midi samples...ugh. But things got better when he switched guitars and jammed to some rhythmic backing tapes. Way more focused and cohesive.

From the hipsterville of Brooklyn were Eagle-Ager. Cardboard costumes, vocal singing and rantting, minimal drums, tapes, and full frontal nudity. Sounds good on paper but in execution it came off as a bunch of high school thespians sneaking into the school auditorium after huffing all the paint thinner in shop class. If their performance had some direction or plot I sure couldn't tell what it was. The best portion was the rancid tape recordings of Tibet monks played on boom boxes. I am a sucker for lofi drones and chants. With some refinement and direction they could evolve into something interesting, but for now it was just shits and giggles.

The headlining duo of Rebecca Mills & Ginger Wagg I had to bail out on. As is too often the case at the Lounge things got started way too late (especially for a weeknight) and the pacing tween acts setting up and breaking down was glacial. But I heard they were classy...

Hat tip to Amber for mobile phone photography.

Costumes, nudity, shit noise can be loads of fun if its done right. For me the yardstick by which I measure all practitioners of the genre is the Netherlands kings of shitnoise, the FCKN'BSTRDS. Watch and be inspired.

1 comment:

snailhook said...

i mostly agree with your assessment of boyzone, though i found them thoroughly entertaining. musically, not much to grasp onto, but visually they were amusing. just right for 15 minutes.

slim castle needs to get rid of that midi crap and go for a more organic feel. i'm probably pretty biased because i used to play with him, but i really think he needs some direction and focus, and outside musicians could bring that. he has some great ideas but doesn't usually follow through on them, making the set seem like a kid with ADD writing a story. he's good when he explores an idea or melody thoroughly.

i have to disagree about eagle-ager. i don't think they need more focus, considering how dadaist their performance is. when i see them, i feel that there is an inherent logic and vision. i was completely entertained by this set, if not intellectually challenged. sometimes the pure aesthetics of the art is enough.

overall, an amusing night, but not one that left me feeling aurally assaulted. as corny as it sounds, it was all about good times.