Thursday, October 31, 2013

Todd Snider with The Henhouse Prowlers 10.17.13


Hodi’s Half Note
Fort Collins, Colorado

Words & Photos By Nicholas Stock


When you go to as many concerts as I have it’s a relatively difficult to catch me off guard. As I entered Hodi’s Half Note on a cool fall evening in October, I was welcomed by the warm embrace of bluegrass lofting over a silent crowd. Colorado is such an amazing hub for live music that many of the regular attendees become blasé and often chat during any given performance. So to enter a normally raucous bar and not hear anyone but the bartender asking, “What’ll you have” and the music from the stage is something I don’t expect. As I headed toward the front to take a few photos it was immediately evident that this was not a Bisco crowd. The majority of the silent sold out audience were there to see the vibrant Mr. Snider, but they were treated to a powerful set up from the Henhouse Prowlers. This string band continues to teeter on the edge of traditional and rage-grass. Their set began around 8:45 PM as the early arrivers staked out their spots.

They opened with “Silver Eagle” and the game of shuffleboard began. Utilizing a traditional single microphone setup, every show is like a ballet as each member rearranges himself to the mic stand. In recent years, Henhouse Prowlers had to persevere through the theft of all of their band equipment as well as some personnel changes, and they have emerged more focused and cohesive than ever. Ben Wright continues to lead by example through effortless vocals and powerful picking. The newest member, Starr Moss, has really gelled with the band and doesn't miss a chance to absolutely shred his guitar. Staples like “Track Song” and “Lonesome Road” dotted their hour-long set. The highlight was their closing "Syracuse" into "Ruby" into "Syracuse" that has become a showstopper for the Prowlers. The Henhouse Prowlers are one of those bands that's often overlooked and with a new album out and their relentless touring its time to spread the good word. If bluegrass is your bag, the Prowlers should be in it.

The ever-vigilant crowd allowed themselves to murmur during the set break before Todd Snider appeared from backstage. Snider is like a modern day Dylan and I don’t make that analogy lightly. By appearance he’s all patchwork and floppy hat, but his lyrics belie a deeper spiritual journey. One in which he is not afraid to call out fraud or injustice with his own variety of realism and humor. I first saw Snider working with Leftover Salmon and subsequently Great American Taxi. However this was my first time seeing him in a small room with his dedicated fan base. He opened up with “Play A Train Song” and quickly went into “If Tomorrow Never Comes," a kind of rowdy rollercoaster ride that extrapolates on his Catholic School days. He treated us to his song “Broke;” a humorous indictment of the current economic situation told through the eyes of regular Joe. He did an amazing version of Jerry Jeff Walker’s “Mr. Bojangles” to round out the first set.

After a short break he returned and continued his bard-like ways. Snider is a storyteller, but that’s only if the audience cooperates. At one point he was ready to break into a tangential story when someone in the attentive audience shouted out. Snider reprimanded him by not telling the anecdote and simply launching into the next song. “Conservative Christian” was an absolute peak for the show, and it should be an anthem for any self-proclaimed hippie. Snider finished around midnight. He is a true teller of tales in every way. He entertains through his docile nature and cutting satire. The way to see Snider is by himself and hopefully with an audience as dedicated as the fans at Hodi’s. All in all it was a very good night for acoustic music.

Nicholas' Photo Gallery

www.henhouseprowlers.com

www.toddsnider.net

Monday, October 28, 2013

Two Nights of Marco Benevento 10.23 & 10.24.13


Dazzle Restaurant and Lounge
Denver, CO

Words By J-man
Photos By Carly Marthis & J-man


Dazzle was buzzing on that particular Wednesday and Thursday as Marco Benevento was in the house with his trio to treat a small number of lucky fans to four sets over the course of the two evenings. Joining Marco on his Denver dates were Dave Dreiwitz (Ween) on bass and Andrew Borger (Norah Jones) on drums. As we were waiting in line for Wednesday's 9:00 PM show, folks piled out of the 7:00 PM show with smiles on their faces and many with signed vinyl in hand. Among the crowd were a handful of our friends including members of Boulder's own Springdale Quartet. Everyone had nothing but good things to say! As we were seated and the lights dimmed, our excitement came to a head. Music Director, Kevin Lee, took the stage to inform the crowd about some great upcoming shows and to threaten the room with the consequences of talking during the performance. The trio took the stage with little to nothing to say before diving into favorites from Marco's Between The Needles & Nightfall and his latest, TigerFace.

Having seen Marco with his trio countless times, there was a noticeable and clear leap in the trio's already solid chemistry and ability. A few songs into the set a relatively obnoxious group entered the room, not having heard the rules and clearly never having been to a listening room. One of the gentleman sat on the edge of the stage as Marco chopped away on the keys. The young man reached up and grabbed Marco's tiger head. As he want to put it on, the audio tech swooped in and snatched it from him. As the show went on the energy in the room climbed and Marco began interacting with the crowd with his quirky antics and comments. Some of my favorites of the set included "Greenpoint," "It Came From You," "Fireworks" and "Limbs of a Pine" featuring the vocals of Rubblebucket's, Kalmia Traver. As Marco danced around the stage he put the tiger head onto Dave who ripped into a heavy slide bass solo. Dave then passed the tiger head to Andrew who tore into the drums.



As the show rounded towards its close, a young woman with dreadlocks danced in the corner with a man who had been sitting in the front row playing air drums. Eventually the young man who had earlier been sitting on the stage returned to the front to dance in front the seated room. Just when I began to ponder "where is Kevin?" he dropped in like a ninja to handle the situation. Overall the evening was fantastic and featured an elevated trio with an appreciative crowd. As we headed out of the front door on to Lincoln St. we scratched our heads at the obscurity of the evening.

Word had gotten out about the previous night's performances as Dazzle packed in with fans hoping to get a table or a seat in what would clearly be a capacity room. We sat at the bar in the Dizzy Room and enjoyed a bottle of vino as friends approached to say hello. Once again, members of Springdale Quartet were in the house! Owner Donald Rossa stopped by the bar for a time before Kevin wandered over to converse about upcoming bookings. As the staff turned over the room from the 7:00 PM show the line stretched out of the door onto the street for the 9:00 PM. Kevin snuck us back through the kitchen to a table waiting on the side of the stage for a different perspective. Just prior to the show a ragtag group of individuals packed into the booth next to us.

The trio took the stage and Marco glanced over with enormous smile on his face. It turns out that the excited crew that sat next to us was Rubblebucket. A few songs into the set Marco called Kal to the stage to provide vocals in person as opposed to the previous evening's vocal tracks. She jumped around with excitement and the band clearly enjoyed her presence. Not only was there not a spot to sit at that point in the evening, but a large crowd had gathered at the door to catch what they could of the stellar performance. My only complaint of the two evenings was the number of repeats within' the sets. An artist like Marco has such a vast catalog of material that it seemed unnecessary to perform repeats when he knows fans will be turning out for multiple performances. That being said, those two nights were a couple of the most enjoyable back to back evenings that we have had in some time.

Carly & J-man's Photo Gallery

www.marcobenevento.com

www.dazzlejazz.com

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Les Claypool’s Duo De Twang 10.12.13


Aggie Theatre
Fort Collins, CO

Words, Photos & Video By Nicholas Stock


Virtuoso bassist Les Claypool is a musical shape shifter. He often leaves the comfy confines of Primus to venture out on some melodious adventures. I’ve seen his many projects and they vary from full-fledged percussive groups focused on instrumental composition to an assemblage of a reptilian task force for all sorts of mayhem. His most recent project is a stripped down situation that goes by the name of Duo De Twang.

This group was originally formed with Marc Haggard from San Francisco alt-rock group M.I.R.V. This tour featured Bryan Kehoe on guitar also from M.I.R.V. They invited the Reformed Whores on the road with them for the duration of their tour. These two ladies have no issue discussing all manner of bodily function and otherwise unspeakable points of view through the wonder and beauty of song. In fact if you weren’t paying attention to the lyrics it would easily sound like the background music at a church picnic. As I arrived, the Reformed Whores were already on stage spreading their brand of irreverent humor. Their delivery was pure deadpan and chocked full of a humorous sanguinity. As performers they utilized the bare minimum of instrumentation; with just a ukulele and an accordion, the Reformed Whores weave rich and delightful musical tapestries. Singing about the necessity for women to move their bowels, taint waxing, and about the importance of birth control are all par for the course. Really they sing public service announcements. They closed their set with “Girls Poop Too.”



I can only describe the fans in the front few rows as dedicated. Some were parked there hours prior to the start of the opener. It was finally time for the main event. Claypool and Kehoe officially took the stage soon after the Reformed Whores. Their modest setup was complete with a small electric bonfire and a couple of chairs. Claypool had stated that this was going to be a low-key affair with lots of booze laced tangents and random stories for the eager crowd. Claypool is playing on a resonator bass that he has taken to calling the “dobro bass,” which makes sense in both sound and feel. Kehoe stuck to the guitar alternating between slide and flat-picking. They played one long set that was spiced with a good amount of fan interaction. They opened with a truly twang-y “Booneville Stomp.” After their first song Kehoe let out a note like a Tuvan throat singer and Claypool said this about him.

“We call him the mighty throat of doom and sodomy.” –Les Claypool

It was this type of silly banter that Claypool seemed to thrive on between sips and songs at the Aggie. Classic Primus tunes like “Wynona’s Big Brown Beaver” and “Jerry Was A Race Car Driver” dotted the set to the glee of the audience. By this point the room was borderline sold out with people taking up every nook and cranny. I found myself in the back and to the right along the wall after I was done taking photos. Musically, it was fun. It was like watching Claypool on MTV Unplugged. At one point the audience began chanting ‘Primus Sucks’ and Claypool commented, “I didn’t think there were be a lot of Primus fans here tonight.” Towards the end Claypool invited a local guitarist named Robert up to stage to play with the Duo De Twang. First of all that’s awesome, Claypool inviting any musician onstage to perform with him would undoubtedly be a high point in their life. Robert was no Jimi Hendrix, but he did fine and Claypool used a few stops to play the bandleader and crack a few jokes. So it was okay for the crowd, but obviously awesome for Robert. After a very quick ninety minutes their set was over and they both stepped off the stage before swiftly returning for their encore. They nailed a stringed version of “Staying Alive” that seemed to really pump up the energy in the crowd.

“That’s not a Bee Gees song, I wrote that fucking tune.” –Les Claypool

They closed the show with Johnny Cash’s “Cocaine Blues” that featured a small “Tommy The Cat” tease. This was just a great night to have a drink with Mr. Claypool. The relaxed vibe focused on interaction and imbibing more than shredding and face melting. That’s not to say anything was lacking musically. Quite the contrary, the combination of Claypool and Kehoe is magical. They create a wall of sound with just a handful of strings. I would highly recommend if the Duo De Twang comes to your town, go have a drink with the Colonel.

Nicholas' Photo Gallery

www.lesclaypool.com

www.reformedwhores.com

Friday, October 25, 2013

The Werks with Twiddle 10.11.13


Aggie Theatre
Fort Collins, CO

Words, Photos & Video By Nicholas Stock


Arriving at 9:30 PM meant that by the time I grabbed my first beer, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong were exiting stage left. What I heard sounded like a promising blend of electronic, funk, and jam. Forming in 2009 and averaging over a hundred shows a year this four piece has a lot of potential. In fact, all three bands on the bill were four man outfits that focused on their own brand of improvised composition. Some have pontificated that we are in a post jam era where the music has become split by genre and focus. However, when I witness performances like what I witnessed from both Twiddle and The Werks, my faith in jam is somewhat restored.

Twiddle came on after a short set break and kept the night moving smoothly. It was homecoming weekend at CSU and there was an abundance of youth in attendance. It seemed like Twiddle had gained a few fans from their performance at Arise Music & Arts Festival in August. They are an impressive unit who finally seems to be branching out beyond their Vermont roots. Much of the basis of their music comes from the school that Phish built. Beyond that they have a drive and musical prowess that absolutely makes an impact. Deep intrepid jams highlighted this set that culminated with a huge psychedelic style trance jam. As this is just my second time seeing them I am still unfamiliar with their songs. What I can say is that Twiddle can play, and they have a genuine enthusiasm about performing together. Their set at the Aggie seemed to end far too quickly.

Again, after a short set change The Werks emerged for their extended headlining slot. They opened with “O.G.”

Set One: O.G., Heading South, Light, BG, Duck Farm, Hard To Find, Moetry, G Funk, 2001> No Diggity> 2001

Encore: Killing In The Name Of

I’m sure many can relate, but at times, no matter how hard I try, I just can’t seem to make seeing certain bands live happen. The Werks have been one of those bands for me. I have listened to their recordings for a number of years but despite my best efforts failed to see them play live. That is until now. The Werks began performing together in 2004 and released their first album in 2007. Since then they have been touring across the country with several stops at top festivals like All Good and Wakarusa. They currently host their own yearly event called The Werk Out Music Festival. Their show at the Aggie, much like their opener Twiddle, was first-rate. They started the show by delving into a wide variety of their catalog. Slicing through musical styles like instrumental ninjas The Werks demonstrated why they are so revered. Songs like “Duck Farm” and “Moetry” punctuated a fantastic set of songs. They closed with their version of Strauss’s “Also Sprach Zarathustra” split by a bridge in the form of Blackstreet’s “No Diggity.” The crowd went absolutely nuts. However, The Werks came back to the stage to drop an even heavier encore. They covered Rage Against The Machine’s “Killing In The Name Of.” Stoic keyboardist Norman Dimitrouleas took the microphone for this spot on rendition that left fans mesmerized.

I have to say it was a fun night out. With a bill that consisted of names like The Werks and Twiddle it would be easy to overlook this Friday night, but that would have been a mistake. Both of these bands deserve your attention, so take a deeper look. Thankfully in some corners of the country jam is alive and well.

Nicholas' Photo Gallery

www.twiddlemusic.com

www.thewerksmusic.com

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Jerry Joseph and the Jackmormons 10.11.13


The Fox Theater
Boulder, CO

Words & Photos By Brad Yeakel (Opti Mystic Outlooks)


For years I had seen the name Jerry Joseph, but it wasn't until about a month ago that any of my friends really mentioned an interest. The one who did, Juan Julio, spoke very highly of him and judging by Juan's other musical interests, I trusted it was an artist I should check out.

Fast forward one month and Juan, who lives in the 505, was once again passing through Denver. On the day after he arrived, Jerry Joseph and the Jackmormons happened to be performing at the Fox Theater. It was destined to happen. We found our way into Boulder around flood repair detours and grabbed a bite before heading in to catch the opening act, Jeff Crosby and the Refugees. Crosby's band reminded me of a mix of 70's rock and roll with a 90's alternative touch. I thought they shared a lot with the Black Crowes stylistically at times. Crosby had a rich and confident voice. His band played Americana influenced rock and roll, and did it well. At one point they played a song that was recently used on the tv show, "Sons of Anarchy." The song as well as most of their others were energetic, American Rock and Roll tunes... Good songs. I also liked their banter. While many bands stammer between songs, Jeff was funny, friendly, and had a great stage presence. His band kept me interested through the whole set.

When the time came to see Jerry Joseph, I had no idea what to expect. As the band took the stage, I was surprised to see that Jerry looked a bit like comedian Dave Attell. His rough edges hinted at years of road living, and his music was energetic, unapologetic poetry. The power trio, better known as Jerry Joseph and the Jackmormons, played a unique blend of American Rock and Roll. One part Americana, two parts Rock and Roll, and a pinch of Punk made for a sound that was familiar and new all in the same moment. I could tell the lyrical aspect of the music was pivotal, but the sound was a bit too distorted to make out the words unless you already knew them. On the couple occasions where I could make out the words, I was impressed. My favorite song of the night was a tune called "Light is Like Water."

At various points of the night, I was reminded of Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, and Jimi Hendrix. As I looked at the faces of the crowd, I saw adoration, admiration, and true appreciation. They were the kind of looks that communicated a deep gratitude for the connection they had made with his music, the song that was playing, or the lyric they just heard for the first time. Jerry's guitar playing was very good, but what set him apart was his ability to speak to his listener's soul. I've always thought that was the point of music, to speak to your soul. My college music professor taught me that truth in music is what separates the temporary from the timeless. Jerry's music may be among the most honest, soul-baring work I've heard in years. As we left, Juan Julio was all smiles, and I couldn't wait to get home and listen to the new addition to the soundtrack of my life.

Brad's Photo Gallery

www.jerryjoseph.com

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Tea Leaf Green with WhiteWater Ramble 10.9.13


Aggie Theatre
Fort Collins, Colorado

Words, Photos & Video By Nicholas Stock


On a tour that bounced on and off the summer festival circuit beginning with Summer Camp and ending with an extensive jaunt across the country, Tea Leaf Green continues to spread their music prodigiously. Often underrated, this five-piece from San Francisco played sans one drummer at the Aggie. I headed down early to see local classics WhiteWater Ramble open. Having watched these guys evolve and transform since my arrival in Colorado it’s good to see them gelling in a live setting. WWR has always been a jamgrass contender, but at times their sound has been inconsistent. Their show at the Aggie was a smooth groove that was highlighted by a number of fun covers; In particular a spaced-out version of “The Devil Went Down To Georgia” that was a true mix of psychedelic and string. A pair of Grateful Dead covers came in the form of “Althea” and “The Wheel” as well. WhiteWater Ramble finished up with a sweet take on “Nellie Kane.” This band continues to develop and their local shows always seem to be a blast.

During setbreak I ran into incredible bassist and all around nice guy, Reed Mathis, just relaxing outside before his set. I talked to Reed about Summer Camp and his extensive touring. Throughout the last 5 months he has hopped from Tea Leaf to Mickey Hart Band shows with several one offs in between. Before we split ways Reed inquired if I had any requests. I simply asked that he, ‘rip it up.’

“I will rip it up, it shall need mending… possibly stitches.” –Mathis

So with that we headed back inside in anticipation of the ripping. The show was on a Wednesday night so the audience numbered only around a couple hundred. This allowed for a very relaxed feel and easy maneuvering. They opted to play one long set rather than split it up. They opened up with “If It Wasn’t For The Money.”

Set One: If It Wasn’t For The Money, Someday (In The Wake), Penny Saved, One Reason, Space Hero Pt. 3, Space, Hero Pt. 4, Forgiven, Don’t Go, Taught To Be Proud, We Aren’t Done, Franz Hanzerbeak (JoJo), Two Parts, One More Chance, Fallen Angel> Germanating Seed

Encore: Pretty Jane, All Washed Up

This beefy set from Tea Leaf Green featured classics as well as several newer tracks. Musically they are playing in lockstep. I was a little bummed they were performing without their other drummer, but considering their length of time on the road it’s understandable. Trevor Gerrod continues to be the consummate performer utilizing both his skills at the keys as well as the microphone intrepidly. The “Space Hero” duo was a real highlight. Reed was a true focal point for the duration of the show. There is something incredible about watching someone who is truly skilled at a craft. For Mathis that craft is face melting bass shredding. Tea Leaf closed out the set with a pair from their second album Radio Tragedy!; “Fallen Angel” into “Germanating Seed” was a real treat.

I still believe that Tea Leaf Green is a top-level jam band with the potential to give a huge performance on any given night. Their show at the Aggie again proved that hypothesis. They have musically and stylistically evolved into a true road-worn rock band, but their live shows demonstrate an amazing ability to improvise and harmonize sonically. They encored with a “Pretty Jane” into “All Washed Up.” If you’ve let Tea Leaf Green fall off your radar, revisit them post haste. They are still doing it right.

Nicholas' Photo Gallery

www.tealeafgreen.com

www.whitewaterramble.com

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Les Claypool's Duo De Twang 10.11.13


Gothic Theater
Englewood, CO

Words & Photos By J-man


It was a chilly evening in Englewood, CO, a little ways down Broadway from Denver. The line out front of the Gothic Theater was sizable yet swift. We arrived just prior to Les Claypool and Brian Kehoe taking the stage as Duo De Twang. The shuffle onstage yielded a fake camp fire, a couple of chairs and a couple of drinks. It was a simple set up for what would feel like a very intimate experience. The crowded venue came alive as the duo took the stage. It was clear from the get go that the show would involve a lot of reciprocal banter between Les and his "adoring" fans. The show kicked off with Primus' "Wynona's Big Brown Beaver," to the delight of the room and continued on with Claypool's "Rumble of The Diesel." The Bee Gees "Stayin' Alive" followed in a stripped down fashion with Les thumping away on the dobro bass, while Brian dug into noodly guitar riffs. The music would start, stop, then get cast aside for hilarious banter that included Les talking shit to Brian about his playing, his love of Coors and his tight jeans. Frog Brigade's "D's Diner" came next with the crowd getting involved with the line "I do" to answer Les' "who wants to go to D's Diner?" A cover of Jerry Reed's "Amos Moses" followed in Duo De Twang style.

"Did you just call me a penis?" Les asked a fan riding the rail. "I can hear you yelling, and I am sure it's something very prolific and profound..." he went on to say.

The show unfolded with an array of additional Primus songs, as well as covers of some of Claypool's favorite obscurities. Towards the end it was communicated to Les that there was a young man in the crowd who's first concert was that evening's show. Claypool called out the kid directly, communicating to the young man that he was getting jipped, as Claypool's first show was Rush. He then asked the kid what song he'd like to hear, to which the kid replied "Robot Chicken." Les laughed and did his best to recall and mock the show's theme. The evening continued rolling towards a close with more songs and even more nonsensical banter. The Duo closed with special guests "The Reformed Whores" singing backup vocals with a young lady whom Les had called up from the crowd to join and guitarist Lucas, from one of the evening's openers. Ultimately Les Claypool's Duo De Twang had the feel of a private campfire set that at no point strayed from it's entertaining and ridiculous nature. The Twang follows suit with Les' quirky approach to his projects. With the live translation of the project being a huge success, we sit back and wait for the release of the Duo's upcoming album.

J-man's Photo Gallery

www.lesclaypool.com

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Iron Horse with Pickin’ On Your Mama’s House 10.5.13


Fort Collins, CO
Aggie Theatre

Words, Photos & Video By Nicholas Stock


Iron Horse takes the concept of a cover to the realm of high art. It’s not often that a band that makes a living performing other people’s music that creates so much fervor and dedication in their fan base. The Pickin’ On segment of bluegrass has been around for quite some time, but bands like Iron Horse do it justice. The opener was Denver’s recent incarnation Pickin’ On Your Mama’s House. They could also have gone by Tori Pater and Friends, but this group was a tight string band. They had a rowdy and raw take on many of the classics that have made Widespread a band to follow. Pater’s voice aligns nicely with the road that John Bell paved. Considering the theme of the evening was "homage" they fit in nicely. I will say it felt like their set seemed to drag towards the end, but that may have had more to do with everyone’s anticipation for Iron Horse. They did a solid version of “Tallboy” that seemed to smooth everything over.

Iron Horse came out to a solid roar from the crowd. This being my first time seeing them live I was surprised with their reception. MM Editor J-man himself had touted them as a huge influence. Billed as a Pickin’ On Led Zeppelin show, what followed was a best of Iron Horse throw down that demonstrated the range of their repertoire. The first thing I noticed was their classic look that seems to ooze with polish and authenticity. The vocals are strikingly accurate and very reminiscent the classic Appalachian greats. It’s this technical attention to traditional musicianship that lends itself so nicely to the metal and indie bands they focus on in their covers. Songs like Metallica’s “Unforgiven” and Zeppelin’s “Ramble On” dotted the first set. However, the highlight may have been an incredibly delicate take on Ozzy Osborne’s “Moma I’m Coming Home.” The song showcased the amazing vocal interplay between guitarist Vance Henry and bassist Ricky Rodgers. Zakk Wylde himself would have nodded in approval. Iron Horse also snuck in a Modest Mouse tune with “Float On”. Their reverence for both the traditions of bluegrass and rock was evident with each song.

The second set included another Ozzy track “Crazy Train” which was absolutely top notch. It became a massive sing along with the entire audience joining in the fun. By this point there was a healthy crowd, with the house about half sold out. I entered thinking there was a decent turn out, and I left wondering why it didn’t sell out. Again, there are few cover bands worth real consideration. They are like a Twinkie; fun to consume, but rarely satisfying. Bands like Iron Horse bring a vitality and originality to both the genres they embody. A version of Elton John’s “Rocket Man” was yet another peak from this robust performance. Iron Horse is a band that goes beyond simple explanation and is definitely worth a further look. If they come to a town near you, make the trip.

Nicholas' Photo Gallery

www.ironhorsebluegrass.com

Monday, October 14, 2013

Symbiosis Gathering 9.19 - 9.23.13


Woodward Reserve
Oakdale, CA

Words By B. Getz & Maria Herrera
Photos By Kauai Ric & JMH Mixed Media


Now in its eighth year, Symbiosis Gathering 2013 was a living, breathing dragon of pagan synergy, an event filled with spiritual confluence and an electronic-sonic paradise — a rigorous program featuring dozens of the best intergalactic yodas in EDM, yoga and sustainability practices. This was a transformational festival, and despite some disorganized infrastructure, the event broke new ground for what can be created in this type of community gathering.

Symbiosis boasted four workshop stages by day, classes from mycology to mysticism, yoga to making yogurt, and organic farming to improv comedy performances. One may have gotten lost in the workshops all weekend and felt fulfilled. Another crucial component is the variety of different visual art on display. Symbiosis is a music, ART and conscious lifestyle event. Per square footage, they had more art than any other festival in the U.S. besides a certain event in the Black Rock desert. It is also a festival that strived, with the help of WasteBusters, Inc. to leave the grounds that host to this year’s event (Woodward Reservoir, Oakdale, Ca.) in better condition that when Symbiosis first gathered there.

Amidst the well-curated lineup of workshops and speakers ready to educate the masses were Darin McFadyen, better known as FreqNasty, and his yogi counterpart Claire Thompson, who opened the Empire of Love Stage Friday morning with a unique take on the therapeutic properties of combining yoga, dance music and sub-bass frequencies. The pair used meaningful insights from the foundational texts of Yoga and Buddhism along with sub-bass sounds, or sounds which are approximately below 60 Hertz and extend downward including the lowest frequency humans can hear, to create something Thompson called the Bass Wash – an energy cleaning experience that unites the realms of sound healing and meditation.

The Bee Hive Collective, a group of artists and activist who have taken on a plethora of pressing environmental and political issues, gave a fierce presentation on the impact of mountain top removal and coal mining using a 8-15 tapestry that illustrated the struggles for land, livelihood, and self-determination playing out in places like Appalachia. Wenonah Hauter, executive director of the nonprofit Food and Water Watch and author of Foodopoly, encouraged festival growers to rise up against the stronghold multinational corporations have on our food source.

Symbiosis is based around the Bay Area, a vibrant community of artists, builders and magicians that test the bounds of what is possible to create at a five-day event. Art comes from people and places, in the spirit of random acts of creativity and selfless expression. This review will focus on the plethora of monumental music on the stacked lineup cards. Rest assured many of the festival’s best performers may not be featured in this article; we could only be in one place at a time, and also did our best to take in the countless activities (like swimming and Yoga!) that were plentiful about Symbiosis. The following is some of the best of the symbiotic best in sonic exploration of the realms of intelligent dance music and crunkalogic science.

Dub Kirtan All-stars, led by Freq Nasty and David Starfire with special guests J Brave of the Luminaries, Srikalogy and Caitanya, set it off proper on Thursday night at The Cove stage set lakeside, dripping in bamboo and psychedelia. The Kirtanic enchantment within “Hari Krishna” sent people into a mystical procession of Zen aerobics, while “Sita Ram” captivated and enchanted, a mid-tempo dub- ridah and mesmerizing pulsation filled with bombastic drums and soundsystem rudebwoy swagger. Tracks from dreamlike EP Subsonic Devotion were recreated with live chanting and vocals drenched in a lathering of bass buoyancy. Later, emcee collaborators hailing from Brooklyn drove the carpet ride decidedly to the streets, and the New York chants met the Yoga of bass. Kirtan channeled its inner b-boy from the corner of Paul’s Boutique and a new style.

One of the most moving, mind-blowing musical experiences in recent memory was the séance that was led by the Liberation Movement. Taking place in the grand Pantheon, a stage area and art installation that was built into a futuristic vision of an undisturbed Tibetan freedom; it went deep into the dark of Shabbat. Led by the Resurrector (of Heavyweight Dub Champion) and Sasha Rose, they vigorously fused Ancient technology with modern ritual into a creation of a new communal rite; Liberation Movement used sonics and translucent chanting to tap the inner psyche.

Their potent alchemy of analog synths, acoustic guitars, emceeing, live vocals and vocal samples, warm and fuzzy filters and distortions, all of which were infused with recordings of Shipibo Shamans derived from the Peruvian Amazon. This was the living story of the Jungle, transmitted through Ikaros, the Sacred Song of the Plants. Just when you were meeting the God within yourself in the midst of a two-hour hajj to Amazonian healing modality; the entire ensemble unites in a sublime, somber-yet-uplifting rendition of the sweet, serene Bob Marley hymn “Soul Rebel.”

One must acknowledge to stunning and grandiose performance from dancer/sorcereress Ka Amorastreya(of Serpentfeathers and Visionary Arts Foundation). Her enrapturing sacred dance and her elegant serpentine feather ensemble were positively breathtaking. The entire Liberation Movement experience at The Pantheon could be describe as a personal human awaking, focusing on the potential of the complete sound spectrum, and reminded us all what it means to meditate through the might of music and performance art.

Lunice, one half of buzz-duo TNGHT (alongside fellow Symbiosis performer Hudson Mohawke), is rapidly redefining the art of the trap hip-hop remix. A Montreal-based producer born to Filipino and Haitian immigrants, Lunice is a b-boy at heart. He has stated he was inspired to make beats by the early work of 9th Wonder of Little Brother, and the dude lives, eats, and breathes hip-hop. Opening with an incredible take on Jay-Z’s brand new banger “Church,” Lunice unleashed an excursion in bass gymnastics that was positively trap-tastic! R&B vocal samples drenched in gutter-bounce 808 bass thunder, he had more than enough exclusive acapellas to make his entire set fresh to def! Like Laura Low, Lunice implanted vicious versions of Kanye West Yeezus tracks, his emboldened by a manic gloom, as Lunice raged like a man possessed. Dark and dirty versions of ASAP Rocky’s “Pretty Flocka” and Pusha T’s Kingston shout “Blocka” established a current force to be reckoned with. Alternately swilling from a handle, running around his tables rubbing his dome like a raving lunatic, headbanging along with his drums, or coming front- stage to uprock in a new style, Lunice was nothing if not demonic, and most of all, enthralling.

Ott set up at Pantheon and manufactured what was another of the finest displays of artistry over the Symbiosis weekend. He kicked things off with a solid forty minutes of mind-blowing psychedelic dub reggae, mining the Kingston yards for the finest in rudebwoy soundclash. The monster Function-One speakers didn’t just hold the rolling bass lines; they propelled them beyond the stratosphere; and it was Blunted in the Bomb Shelter, live from a new Nepal. Classics from the annals of King Tubby, Mad Professor, and Augustus Pablo were underpinned by the spastic low-end calisthenics. His patented mixture of Psybient Dub arrived late in the set, the lengthy, interesting “Rogue Bagel” shining through; yet his return to the island was overstood with authority. Ott. forwarded a massive “No, No, No” by Sister Carol that set the dancehall ablaze in the dirtiest skanking the evening would provide. The Pantheon nearly burnt down as we screamed “More Fiyah” and howled into the night.

Ott.’s lengthy dub-tastic rager caused this writer to miss a large portion of Emancipator, but so it went with the stacked lineup at Symbiosis. Playing an almost two-hour long set, Emancipator dug deep into the catalogue, and looked into their present and toward the future, playing classics like “Kamakura,” selections from his most recent record Dusk to Dawn, and debuted new music. Ilya Goldberg’s live violin work was thrilling and exquisite as usual. He and Doug Appling demonstrated why Emancipator’s live performances are the stuff of lore in a variety of scenes and regions. The ending of their set was especially moving, calming, ambient, and ultimately left one with a sense of ease, as they gave way to Michal Menert. The Pretty Lights Music, Ft. Collins by way of Poland OG delivered an energetic and lavish set of mid-tempo dance music. His unique stylings separated Menert from the crowd, the steez confidant and unabashedly celebratory.

STS9’s return to the NorCal environs was the subject of much buzz, both in the 9 community, and to a lesser extent the festival itself. The huge-by-comparison Big Island Stage was host to many of the weekend’s headliners, but it was definitely the place to be for Soundtribe’s three-hour tour de-force on Saturday night. First and foremost, Saul Williams took to the mic and delivered a fifteen minute opus, a stream of consciousness free-verse from one of his long form poems, and left the audience slack jawed, and teary eyed. Then, after a moment to breathe, STS9 took assumed their position, and “Hidden Hand Hidden Fist” came first.

On the heels of their near-universally revered Red Rocks run earlier in September, the stage was set for a return to watermelon tourmaline-tinged, interplanetary roots. This was partially accomplished, mostly during the first set text-book run of “Simulator, Grow, Vibyl, GLOgii, Move My Peeps” and to close the first set “Kamuy.” All of which were performed collectively, yet still vigorously. The Tribe was often assisted on trumpet by Russ Liquid, to an enthusiastic dancing crowd mix of 9 fans and Symbiosis-goers. The second set served a different purpose, as the band was not immune to the notion of the myriad of electronic music styles on display at Symbiosis. They chose to offer a sampling of their own kaleidoscope of sounds and ideas, as they have sonically traveled over the past six or seven years. Though this writer is firmly encamped with the school of Sector 9 who seek what Set One provided, kudos to STS9 for treating the Symbiosis massive with respect and providing a taste of their entire menu, from the lowdown to the “Vapors” and several points between.

Hailing from SoCal and New Mexico, the amazing ensemble Desert Dwellers first welcomed the new Monday morning with a ritual de lo habitual dripping in meditative beat- science and angelic dust. Bringing an electronic bass music cross-pollinated with the Yoga scene, and like Dub Kirtan All-stars, employing the global sounds of both galaxies in an eclectic stew. Sacred bass treaded the modern edge of electronica with ancient and organic soundscapes, this was a set of genre-bending at its finest. Hosted by the apropos Pantheon, Desert Dwellers delivered one of the single most engrossing sets of the weekend, taking the massive on a journey to the core. Main members Amani Friend & Treavor Moontribe hosted a squad of guest collaborators in a procession of earthly percussion, ethereal voices, and culture-crossing instrumentation; the downtempo’d dance grooves were impeccable way to greet the morning. The steady stream of guests, live dancers, and visual arrangers were a tremendous accompaniment to Desert Dwellers entire two hour epic breakfast blessing.

There is nothing quite like a Random Rab sunrise set. The mysticism and supernatural energies are alive and afloat as the people congregate and exude a certain brand of reverence, a symbiosis between artist and audience I’ve never witnessed at any other gathering. Ably assisted by Emancipator violinist Ilya Goldberg and percussionist Jason Cedar Miller, Rab followed Desert Dwellers over at the Cove stage, by upping the ante on what can truly transform. Captaining this delicate and admirable mission, Rab Clinton worked his magic to a near flawless perfection at the wheel of an 18-track mixing console and live sampling software, amidst a myriad of different acoustic instruments.

Rab puts emphasis on forward progression, a style that makes songs feel looser than your standard build-tension, drop-bass one-two step. Without the lavish percussion it would be difficult not to get mired in temperate noise. Rab’s music doesn't rely on simple looping or repetition, and instead assemble patiently, arching its way into a beautiful vocals and dancing to and from by pulling bass in and out of the mix. Even at the nearly two-hour mark, the producer/composer/savant keeps it ever-so-fresh, accentuating a tiny drop with a musicality that makes it clear he's unwilling to rely on simple tricks.

Mixing in the most effective handclaps since D’Angelo’s seminal Voodoo sessions, a positively tearjerking version of “The Plastic People” was especially cherished, as were many of his new songs from a forthcoming album later this month. Selections from aRose and Vissurreal were received like a sonic manna from a new Heaven, newer compositions like “Clairvoyer” resonated with profound meaning and an emotional connection. Groups of friends, old and new, rejoiced and reveled in a heightened sense of community, and dare I say…love, was present throughout the entire one hundred minute priestly benediction of bass and benevolence.

www.symbiosisgathering.com

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Signal Path "Habitats"


Words By J-man

In the midst of a sea of forthcoming electronic music, one band continues to keep their output fresh and interesting. Habitats marks the twelfth release for Signal Path, and a return to the full band style of recording. The album kicks off with the somber "Night Lightning (I'm Sorry)," opening up the experience with tasteful layers and an impressive sonic arsenal. Distorted vocals weave in and out of drum machine clicks and satisfying synth. As the track approaches the end it picks up into a danceable resolve. "Glow" follows with ambient effects and overlapping vocals before the groove takes over. Images of sweaty carefree individuals dancing uncontrollably fill the mind and turn even the listener's living room into a potential party. The guitar work of Ryan Burnett overtakes the groove and reminds the listeners that before there were electronics, there were instruments. While Damon Metzner rides the hi-hat, "Glow" transitions directly into "Bit Scramble." A small drop opens up to the body of the track for some instrumental riffs that come to a head with Matt Schumacher's bass work. The first taste of electronic bass follows with subtle appearances that fill holes behind Ryan's out front guitar work throughout the remainder of the track.

"Last Remembrance Of The Serengeti" comes next with typical synth holds that open up to so much more. The work of Cody Wille is no more apparent than on this masterful collection of sound. Dirty dub bass fluctuates with a barrage of electronic beats and sound effects before Saxaphonist Pete Wall steps up to the plate to add his flavor to the mix. What listeners get is a smooth, sultry and reserved sax solo that melts into the mix perfectly. "Wolf Cry" comes out of the gate swinging with MC Relic Secure jumping on board to contribute vocally. The track saws away with shifting bass before the MC returns with a quick verse and Ryan closes it out with some satisfying guitar work. "Yellow Horizons" digs deeper into Signal Path's bag of sonic tricks for a sound that is almost reminiscent of a video game score. Pete returns with his sax in hand to take it to the next level with the whole band firing on all cylinders. The closing track of the album, "Lash Out," builds and drops into a sort of jamtronica breakdown that falls out and returns with additional low end wobble that quickly comes and go's. Signal Path flexes it's musical muscles and digs deep into the electronic/jamtronica realm as the album comes to a close.

"I feel like this album captures the sound that Signal Path has been pioneering since the early 2000's. The melding of organic live jazz improv instrumentation and off the wall crazy electronic dance music. I hope that this album will reach a broader fan-base and be more appealing to the non electronic crowd. This is the first album since 2003 that we actually went into the studio and recorded as a band in one room. We've been discussing how to make an album that feels more like our live shows and less like a producer centric creation. I'm proud of the way it all came together," Cody Wille, who produced the album told us.

Habitats is a return to the full band style of recording and output that drew this fan to Signal Path in the first place. The album captures what feels like the perfect mix of new electronica, combined with the direction that jamtronica is headed in order to sustain. The tracks will without a doubt translate in epic fashion live and should please a mix of fans both young an old with their tasteful yet innovative auditory experience. Pay what you'd like and check out Habitats!

www.signalpathmusic.com

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

MusicMarauders Presents: Les Claypool's Duo De Twang


The Fox Theatre
Boulder, CO


Join us on Thursday October 10th for MusicMarauders Presents: Les Claypool's Duo De Twang at The Fox Theatre in Boulder, CO!

Doors: 8:00PM
Show: 9:00 PM
$30.00 GA + $2.00 for under 21 tickets

Purchase tickets at www.foxtheatre.frontgatetickets.com

Check out our recent interview with Les Claypool!

www.lesclaypool.com

www.foxtheatre.com

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

A Conversation with Les Claypool


Photos By Carly Marthis

J-man: Musician, published author, fisherman, wine-maker, actor and potential 2016 presidential candidate, Les Claypool. How are you Les? How's 50 treating you?

Les: ... And father. Being a father of teenagers takes up most of my time.

J-man: I have always been fascinated with your level of interaction and banter with your audience. What triggers some of the show stopping back and forth and how do you feel about the folks who come out to your shows?

Les: I love the folks that come out to see my shows because they are eventually going to help me send my kids to college (laughs)! Bless their little hearts (laughs). You know, I've always enjoyed a little interaction... sometimes more than others. This Duo De Twang project, that's pretty much what it's all about. It's myself and my buddy, Bryan Kehoe, sitting on stools, drinking in front of crowds of people that are also drinking and telling stories, crackin' jokes and every now and again playing a tune. A hillbilly version of either one of my songs or some tune that struck me. So if anything, this thing is an amplified version of that interaction. Like being in my livingroom.

J-man: What style of bass are you utilizing in that project? Is it a resophonic bass?

Les: We've been calling it the "dobro-bass," but it's a resonator bass that I stumbled across years ago and it stuck to me.

J-man: What is it about that bass that you enjoy?

Les: It's got a good twang to it. It's just a twangy, clanky, janky sounding thing and I can make sounds on it that I just can't make on other things. It seems to work well for the twang sound.

J-man: Can you talk about Electric Apricot and what you enjoyed most about the making of the “cult-classic?”

Les: (Laughs) is it a cult classic (laughs)...?

J-man: It is among the circles I run in.

Les: Actually, you know, it was one of the most arduous and painful things I've ever done in my entire life. It's one of those things; I did it and it was a pain in the ass, but I would probably go and do another one if someone gave me the opportunity. It was just a continuous kick to the balls the entire time we were making it and getting it ready for viewing. We sold it to National Lampoon, who subsequently, the president of Lampoon is now in prison for fraud, as is his second in command... for like a long time they're in prison (laughs). We finally got it back and the guy that help us get it back, this attorney, he ended up jumping off of a roof down in L.A. It's just like this non-stop curse. The curse of the Electric Apricot. It's a cursed film. Even though I love the film, it's like Damien. You love the little bastard even though he has sixes burned into the side of his head.

J-man: Wow! I didn't know about any of that... That's insane.

Les: Oh my god! I have to write the book about it because it's completely insane and it's this continuous saga of doom (laughs)! But you know, it makes me laugh when I watch it. But now we've got the rights back. The print the Lampoon put out was actually terrible, it looked horrible.

J-man: (Laughs)

Les: We've got it back and we remastered it. We're releasing it through this other company here in about a month or two.

J-man: I look forward to that!

Les: You opened a big can of worms with the ol' Apricot (laughs)...

J-man: As a fan of the movie, the back story is interesting to me. Lets shift gears to Primus. Was there a conscious effort towards innovation with Primus or was it just a consequence of the times and what you guys had going on musically?

Les: I think in the beginning, especially as a young fellow running around with my shirt off and two different color tennis shoes, you know, there was definitely a vision to it, but... it took Primus maybe five years before we actually started getting some real recognition. So, whatever the original vision was, kind of morphed into what it became on it's own. You know what I am saying?

J-man: I do.

Les: So then, you can throw as much nutrients on some seeds and dirt as you want, but eventually you just gotta kind of let the thing grow and do its thing. And that's sort of what it essentially did. It sort of became a product of whoever was playing in the band... of our multiple drummers we've had in the band over the years as well as beginning with Todd Huth on the guitar and switching to Larry LaLonde and just letting those characters kind of do their thing and it became Primus. And the notion that Larry's guitar style, he's not Yngwie. He's not an aggressive style of player. He's more textural like Andy Summers. So that gave me a lot of space to fill. So I would fill it.

J-man: You've got to be pretty excited about Tim coming back to the project.

Les: Yeah, Tim is back. Tim "Herb the ginseng drummer." We played with him last week, it was actually pretty amazing.

J-man: Great! When can we expect some U.S. dates?

Les: Well, we're doing our big new year's show and then we go to Australia in February. Then we don't really have any plans as of yet, because this is all kind of brand new. You know? This all came about so quickly. We're all still reeling a bit from it. You know, Jay-ski leaving and then Tim being available and excited to come back.

J-man: Interesting times for Primus.

Les: Yeah, we keep going in these full circles. We went full circle coming back to Jay-ski and now we're full circle coming back around to Tim.

J-man: The wine industry, especially in California is very competitive. Did you feel any reservations jumping into the competition or was it a more casual approach in opening Claypool Cellars?

Les: It's always been very casual. Now we're trying to actually get into the black as opposed to having it be a deficit thing, which would be nice. My wife is very involved with it and some good friends of ours are very involved with it. It's still a small boutique label. The main thing we want to do is make a quality bottle of juice that was approachable to people because sometimes it can be a bit intimidating, looking at a wine list and knowing what to order. If you look at it and see that it's mine, you'll know that it has my approach to it, but also it's very high quality. I'm getting the best fruit I can get with the best winemakers. I just wanted to make a good bottle of booze for myself to have access to and drink and I just happen to have a lot now (laughs)...

J-man: (Laughs) When you recorded the South Park theme did you think the show would last as long as it has?

Les: No, we never even thought it was going to get on television. We just thought it was funny.

J-man: I've heard that theme so many times now. Looking back at your musical resume, one would see bands like Sausage, Holy Mackerel, Oysterhead, Flying Frog Brigade, Fancy Band, Col. Claypool’s Bucket of Bernie Brains...

Les: Now we've got the twang...

J-man: Is there pressure to return to some of these projects namely C2B3 & Oysterhead?

Les: There is always a lot of interest in the ol' Oysterhead. People are always clamoring for that. That's one of the things, you've gotta wait for the planets to align and then that'll happen. There's always talk but the planets haven't aligned yet.

J-man: Do you feel like you try to keep moving forward with bands or do you ever intend to return to previous projects?

Les: I'm not a big fan of going backwards, so it's hard for me because it just becomes a nostalgia thing. But I do miss certain elements of certain things. There's always talk and then something will happen and I end up going in that direction. It's like this twang thing, I've always talked about doing a little acoustic solo thing, cause I am always walking around with one of my dobros twangin' away. Everybody is going "hey, you should stand in front of people and do that." So there was always talk of it but then it didn't happen until I got offered this gig at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival last year. So I said "well shit, I can do this." So I did it and it was so fun and successful that I kept doing it. So now I am finishing up a record, actually today! That'll be coming out and we're doing this tour. To be honest with you, we were going to take a little time off from Primus and the whole Tim thing came about and we're like "holy shit, well I guess we're going to get back on that horse." So a lot of times, some of it's calculated and some of it's just where the chips fall.

J-man: Sure. One thing that stands out to me about you is your ability to turn your passions into marketable or business type ventures...

Les: (Laughs)Theoretically.

J-man: (Laughs) Can you talk about that conscious decision or approach to life?

Les: (Laughs) I mean... (sigh) I just get bored. I mean, that's the bottom line to any of this. My daughter gives me shit about it all the time. I'll get into something whether it's some hobby or... I'm a Craigslist junkie, so I am always buying crap off Craigslist and Ebay and I'll get into something, lately it's been archery. It's like "Ok, well this is going to last about two weeks," and she's right. It will last like two weeks to two months and then I'm on to something else and I'm equally as passionate about it and I'm spending just as much money on it, or spending just as much time on it and there it is. Whether it's the wine business, or music, or writing, or whatever the hell it is... If I am sitting around I get bored and somewhat depressed. I gotta keep moving. It's like what Woody Allen said "A relationship is like a shark, you have to keep moving forward or it will die," and I don't want to be a dead shark so... I just keep moving forward.

J-man: I appreciate your time and insight, Les.

Les: Oh yeah, it's my pleasure! Good talking to you!

J-man: We'll see you in Boulder, Denver and Ft. Collins, my friend.

Les: HOLY MACKEREL! Alright, man!

www.lesclaypool.com

Like MusicMarauders on Facebook!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Pink Talking Fish 9.28.13


Quixote's True Blue
Denver, CO

Words & Photos By Brad Yeakel


I entered Quixote's True Blue with an excitement confounded. Not only was I seeing a band for the first time, I was also meeting up with an old friend from college, Sam. He and his wife Alex were in Colorado for a family visit, and were excited to get out on the town for a little while. I knew we would fall right back into our familiar flow and pick up where we left off, that's the beauty of people like Sam. Sure enough, we enjoyed the evening thoroughly and had a great time catching up on all that's happened since we shared some space. Before long, I had introduced Sam and Alex to some of my local friends, and our crew approached double digits. The introductions were completed just as Pink Talking Fish took the stage.

Particle's Ben Combe and Eric Gould have teamed up with two Kansas City musicians, Brandon Draper and Ben Hutchinson, to form this cover driven quartet. The beauty, they only cover three bands: PINK Floyd, TALKING Heads, and Phish. Fortunately for me, I love all three. With such varying musical sounds, I wondered if they would capture the real tone of the originals, but it wasn't like that. It was more like a display of the common ground the three musical giants share. The band seamlessly transitioned between songs and bands as if they were intended to go together. It was exciting to hear Floyd subtly creep out from a Phish jam, only to develop legs and become a Talking Heads dance party. Not only were the songs performed well, the material was choice, and the presentation was tight. While the tone's of Trey, Gilmour, and Byrne weren't necessarily replicated, the notes were all there. Ben Combe hit pretty much every note I expected to hear all night. Through hefty compositions and energetic jams, they all executed near perfectly.

With members of Particle leading the band, I expected some electronica segues and jams, but the foursome left the untz at home. Rather, they inspired the crowd to dance with rock and roll improv and subtle transitions. Additionally, they not only took the songs on journeys, they also planted teases. "Cross-eyed and Painless" and "Careful with that Axe, Eugene" peaked out from behind "2001."

The one aspect that was lackluster was the visual element. While the Talking Heads heyday may have been playing small clubs, Pink Floyd and Phish have made their fortunes playing arenas, and their lights and props were extravagant. Quixote's light rig was great for a venue of it's size, but it still created a dim, neon wash. With so many affordable stage accessories available these days, I was surprised the band hadn't brought some supporting lights. A little fog machine, small lasers, or LED's would have gone a long way to enhance the experience.

On the whole, Pink Talking Fish swam through adventurous musical waters, and avoided getting caught. Ben Combe proved once again exceeded my expectations. Eric Gould's bass playing was in the groove like a needle on a record. Brandon Draper seamlessly shifted from the Talking Heads' dance beats to John Fishman's impossible rhythms without a hitch, and Ben "Worrell Wright McConnell" Hutchinson may have had the hardest job, learning the works of three absolute masters. At the end of the show, Sam and Alex headed their own way, and promised to let me know the next time they pass through. I left with some other friends and considered the evening, a reminder of the amazing, uplifting nature of old friends and great music... fresh kindling on the embers of an untended fire.

www.facebook.com/PinkTalkingFish

Set One: Chalkdust Torture, Young Lust > I Zimbra, Bathtub Gin, Burning Down The House, You Enjoy Myself > On The Run > You Enjoy Myself > Crosseyed & Painless

Set Two: 2001* > Another Brick In The Wall > Houses In Motion > Another Brick In The Wall, Any Colour You Like > Possum, Making Flippy Floppy, Pigs (3 Different Ones) > Run Like An Antelope

Encore (One): Once In A Lifetime > Eclipse >Slave To The Traffic Light

Encore (Two): Slippery People > Sand > Slippery People

*w/ Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun and Crosseyed & Painless teases