A report on the Os Mutantes show: Webster Hall has even worse sound than Irving Plaza. Like being at a High School talent show. First, when you have a set of musicians as expert as OM, you do not need to pump the volume to Gwar levels. Who’s going to talk during a set by a band that hasn’t played more than once in 30 years, and never in NYC? Second, the soundboard is wedged up front and to the right of stage, making it impossible for the soundperson to know which mike to highlight. There was flute, but no one heard it. And third, it might be Os Mutantes fault that they brought six backing musicians they really didn’t need.
And one of the backing singers was a dead ringer for Rob Courdry of the Daily Show. Inexcusable.
But: they did the weird stuff, the popular stuff, and the sublime: Caetano Veloso’s “Baby,” and we didn’t miss Rita Lee at all, such quality was replacement Zelia Duncan. They were a blast. Especially after 4 glasses of Maker’s Mark and a some beers.
Nice article by John Hodgman in the NYTimes Mag about Asian horror and Raimi/Drake cultivating a genre revolution stateside; not sure why Hodgman didn’t at least throw in a sentence mentioning Japan’s recent, country-wide leaning toward ghost-fueled fiction and film (i.e. Haruki Murakami’s novels, and ghost-rife films outside the horror genre, like Miyazaki’s anime childrens’ fantasies). Some chalk it up to Shinto’s overall penchant for disembodied spirits, as a religion, but this time there’s something psychedelic about it all.
Large and surprising appreciation for Two Thousand, the new French Kicks rekkid. It’s a U2 record torn apart and put back together by younger people. Which means it’s u2 pre-1992, the year they all died in a bizarre chemical explosion involving a gold sequined jacket, Jesse Helms, and Anton Corbjin’s darkroom materials. Some might say the FKs trade on the Walkmen, but longer-time music geeks will tell you each band goes back as far as the other; it just took the FKs longer to match their disproportionate hype. They might be able to do this again, too, because they’ve worked so hard to get here. And, as usual with decent-sounding records: it’s the drums.
And sometimes a high, keening organ.
The French Kicks – Cloche