Top live shows of the year so far?
1. Editors @ Mercury
2. Joggers @ Rothko
3. Wrens @ Bowery
4. Love is All @ Knitting Factory5. El Ten Eleven @ Pianos
Indeed, from the minute El Ten Eleven (website
) began their matinee set on Sunday afternoon, my jaw was on the floor where it stayed for the entire time Kristian Dunn and Tim Fogarty performed their layered songs, burying us in their strata-like volcanic ash. I had a case of goosebumps to such a degree I’ve not had in months. The fifteen of us in the room were treated to some of this planet’s best guitar and loop work. The guy in front of me kept looking back at his friend giving him looks that said, “Can you believe this?
True enough, I could hardly myself. Dunn lays down loop after loop, increasingly adding intensity and accenting new beats. Five loops. Add harmonics. Six. A new bass line. Seven. Eight. All of these simultaneously cohering to an inner armature supported off the first laid. (You really need to see it to comprehend how startling it all is). Sure the mp3’s are ok –and to some probably they might be mistakenly dismissed- but when you can watch each tiny component of complex system separately, isolated as it’s being born, you gain a new perspective on the methodology of producing musical sounds. It’s like Tetris, in a way.
Another term I would give it: reverse dissection. The song “Connie” (mp3)
was especially mind-blowing, the slide guitar adding a steely and imperfect quality to the tone that was pleasently jarring. Not only does Dunn often alternate between the two necks of his double-necked bass/guitar, he’ll also play both, simultaneously.
He’ll have one hand finger tapping scales or arpeggios on the upper neck, and finger tapping the bass line on the lower.
Whatever it is, it’s phenomenal. I wish Pinback
would retool their live show to emulate these guys (they seem to be not without similarity). If you live in NYC or the East, sorry, you are S.O.L. If you live in the South, however, you have a rare opportunity to see these guys as they complete their tour before heading back to LA.
May 10 Young Avenue Deli, Memphis, TN
May 11 Sticky Fingerz, Little Rock, AR
May 12 Red Star Bar, Baton Rouge, LA
May 14 Rudyards Pub, Houston, TX
May 15 Cactus Cafe, Austin, TX
May 16 Burts Tiki Lounge, Albuquerque, NM
May 18 Plush, Tucson, AZ
May 19 the Clubhouse, Tempe, AZ
May 26 The Scene, Glendale, CA
June 11 The Cocaine, LA, CA