It's painful being clueless&confused. And one thing that can bring on cluelessness is NOISE. Maybe its the sound of confusion. Thinking about it can give you a feeling worse than 36 hrs of ear-ringing, which is exactly what I got from Black Dice (gotta be louder than yr support), especially if you think about its relationship w/ROCK. You might hear a demon tell you all noise has one true face, one meaning, one effect but you don't need to be arguing w/a purist to notice its differing pedigree&lineage. You can make noise yr rotting end or the sound of yr insemination (yum!), its all on YOU, and maybe was all about YOU from the start anyway, which is obv.the most painful of all. You could put it to song as "you look to find direction but all you see is yr reflection"&in fact someone DID,&they provided a good bit of theatre to start the night out. We were in a big old hall w/very sweet bar staff. Lianne had got in on the guestlist and had inspired me to take notes. Our opening act started hid behind the monitors giving nothing away but carefully propping up a faded cream baseball cap emblazoned thus:
WORLD TOUR 1994
As a background accompaniment to this focal point we get some shifty looping clicks which form the basis of a gradual layering up to a thin brassy sheen, a sort of formless anthemic nostalgia, which framed the EAGLES hat pretty well. The nostalgia breaks into a bright&slightly frightening haircut buzz which gets lost in the Bill&Ben/bath-fart gloops that have been bread&butter to a generation of noise bros, and some birdsong trapped in chewing gum.
Wide pan-out and bringing the sunset indoors w/bassy rumbles&cosmic ice cream van tones to invoke the same very excellent Caribbean scene heard at the end of Panda Bear's Carrots. Treating us to the grand finale now, the EAGLES cap surfaces w/battered electric guitar and solos over the waves into eternity, in a gesture of Rock Generosity to the audience, leaving us w/a warm glow of fretwork vapour-trails of the past. This is the end of rock though over-exposure, meaning impossible because all moves have been made so many times, filled up so much space, that they cease to be discernible. This thought cemented w/an epilogue where our lonely hero strums out a washed-out ballad for the end of (rock) time, singing "In a house full of meers/it's not easy to find yr way" and the prev mentioned direction/reflection musing. & the name of this act?: DUCKTAILS
W/no noise but treating rock as a live option, were Experimental Dental School, who were polite enough to thank us after every song&are probably devoid of vices. They are a lean DIY duo -rock sustainable as cottage industry- w/chops and a bit of mentoring from Deerhoof. All small scale enough that me not liking them doesn't seem worthy but of more import: their guitarist Jesse Hall's short trousers&general buffness hint towards possible transformation into Zell from Final Fantasy VIII(&they've just released their album for free).
I decided to spend my t-shirt money on more beer. Now able to pronounce Zywiec, Neil Campbell from Astral Social Club stepped us his game for this kinda immense London audience w/assistance from Tirath Singh Nirmala (whose beard was blamed by some serious guy behind me on the first of three buses home for spoiling his enjoyment of the set - ...) and other hairy British bohos, including a makeshift choir. My feet planted, Campbell does everything possible to assist me in having the best pint of my life, saturating everything with harmony to turn it into one moment of endless immediacy. I'm waiting for the heartbeat bass drum to enter and underpin and sure enough, when it comes in you can feel a wave of people getting on board all at once. A mysterious wave and the choir of cider-drinking longhairs appears to goof and churn out drones. Campbell's wailing, back-arched and completely at home in the world. "It never was nor will be since it is now" they used to say as solace for minds stuck in bodies w/an aptitude for suffering, now Astral Social Club show everyone the same trick.
Lvl 100 Beastmasters Black Dice navigate audience-agony by not-really-giving-a-shit, tonight manifested in turning out the lights and STARTING just like that. It is night time now&I'm light on my feet, the stage filling up w/foliage, flares belched up into the sky, a bandana'd&bikini'd silhouette giving a Queenly salutation, Mizaru w/sideways belly move and powerstaff artfully drummed for emphasis, Kikazaru behind curtain of hair & Iwazaru staring out like a shepherd w/statue's eyes.
For ease of control magical animals are introduced so that our livers and spleens will be overtaken with herd instinct and get to it. But they're easy on us, gently eliciting conversation between creatures and also deploying their recent trick of animal song. Only once do they bring out the cane, w/the bass part from Kokomo, and jesus - 200+ haircuts&pelvises rolling in time! This is ridiculous. I've finished another pint without noticing. I take a cruise to&from the toilet through a menagerie of livers and spleens and toes. Of course that arsehole on the bus home prefers listening to the records. Of course he does.
Here's an interview between Black Dice&Genesis P-Orridge in self-titled magazine w/recording through skulls and some first class anecdotes