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MV & EE: The Handmade Arcade Afterparty

Here is the Panel Den booth at Handmade Arcade, Pittsburgh's craft fair of local artists.  Panel Den is the label/publishing company of rouper Seth LeDonne.  Rouper RJ and Seth sold prints of Seth's paintings along with zines and CDs/tapes of Brian DiSanto, Coyotes by the Way, Golden Quikrete, RJ Myato, and other Roup related projects.  Directly afterwards there was a party at Roup featuring MV & EE and a bunch of locals.

First up was Why Live When You Can Die in the Roup basement.  Coming all the way from Buffalo, NY these guys had a rough time getting their set together.  I liked their set, but it was kind of jumbled with the guitar player stopping a few minutes before the guy on electronics.  Why Live When You Can Die had a kind of mystical sound with lots of deep textures a few feet away and reverb'd chords far off in the distance; at some point there were vocals too.  I'm not sure if they were on tour, but if they were I hope that the rest of it went better than this.  I thought they sounded good, though there was a definite lack of cohesion, but confusion is fun.

The second duo was Host Skull, featuring the prolific Dave Bernabo on guitar and Erik Cirelli also on guitar.  I missed them when they played at the Shop with the Voltage Spooks so it was good to see them here.  They delivered a twenty minute set of instrumental free jazz.  At times they ventured into post-rock territory with sounds like that of Blue Velvet or People for Audio.  Erik used a screwdriver on his guitar during the second half of their set.  It was all really great, but from what I understand, Host Skull doesn't have definite members or sounds.  Regardless, you can get there "Totally Fatalist" LP here.

The third duo, the previously mentioned Coyotes by the Way, was wilder than both of the previous offerings.  They had some of the absurdity of Why Live When You Can Die with some of the cohesion of Host Skull.  Seth set up their amps across the room on a chair, while Joe and he played from a spot on the stairs eclipsed by a red stain of light which enveloped their gothic and deathly performance.  From the gloom they combined textural dissonance with overarching melodies.

MV & EE were up next, making avant-folk from the living room.  MV & EE is Matt Valentine and Erika Elder and I guess they're pretty well known, though I had no idea who they were until this show.  Away in the mist you could hear whispery ghost vocals and watery guitars.  Matt Valentine dedicated some accidental feedback to Coyotes by the Way.  They were really fucking awesome.

The final duo of the night was the folky Pairdown, who I had seen once before when they opened for Noveller and unFact.  They played very classically and continued the move to more beautiful music from MV & EE.  Pairdown's set was very happy and carefree and there were some cool jazzy parts at times; they were sort of a cleaner Host Skull.

Right afterwards this RJ kid ruined the night's duo theme by playing some junk metal junk in the kitchen.  A lot of people left the room, but it sounded really good.  Right after that RJ played another set with a background of some tape that somebody else was playing.  It was a funny juxtaposition.

That was the end of the fun times for that night.  If you missed it you can hear all of it here.
We return to Roup next time with SAD Fest, the counterpart to ADD Fest earlier in November.