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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Crown Larks Roboto Roosting

On June 11th, 2014 a show was going to happen that I advertised extensively. An hour before the show it stormed horribly - it was a total rainout. Let's see what happened anyway.

Satyr/Elfheim played first with a record three songs. I started with a sludgey mess called "A Handful of Devils". For the second song, "Dreams in the Witch Hat", I used the Audible Disease Sequencenator for the first time. I used the Moog Moogerfooger Ring Modulator for bass sounds, and I mic'd some bells too. During the last song, "Twirling Lights at Night", I played some Hawkwind-esque solos with the Martin Stinger. Former Rouper Brian DiSanto described my set as, "the best thing you've ever done as far as I'm concerned". I agree.

The second band to play was Ouais who played a solid set, not excessively long. I like them more and more every time I see them. Duos are cool. Their style, basic, minimal, and loud with weird subject matter is cool; there's a classic indie rock vibe, not unlike Vehicle Flips, Volcano Suns, or early Pavement. I love the wild yelps, the thrashy, distorted guitar, and the plodding drums. I had to run to Spak to grab a pizza for a second during their set, but don't miss Ouais when they play near you.

Znagez was third. They were missing some members, apparently permanently (due to some personal differences). I was a little disappointed; the sound wasn't nearly as full as before. JP created some really exciting synth sounds, Ben hit some heavy drums, Rob shredded/riffed better than I've seen him shred/riff in a while, and Brian sang his amazing, unusual songs, but it was a little messy. The set included a hard hitting version of "Padre Phil", the jumpy "Cherry Lemonade", the psych/drone "Abduct Me, Balmy Mothership", the fast punk of "Go Go Go", the sludgey/spooky "Overwhelming Hash Caramel", the cult classic "Fuzzy Bicycle Baby Dolls", some more crazy punk screams on "Dye It Green", stoner metal "The Righteous Candy Cane Laughing Gas Hat", the classic "Grease Slick Space Cave" which had to be played three times, the synonymous "Znagez", Rob's "Fire Gang" (may have got the name wrong), and alien-sounding carnival of "Ben's Hair".


Chicago's amazing Crown Larks is so good and was so next. I was afraid I wouldn't be able to pay them much so I bought a t-shirt and a CD and gave them some of the pizza to make up for it. They had a trumpet player who usually uses some other woodwind and brass instruments, but simplified his sound for this set. Loud guitars, the blaring trumpet, psychedelic drones filled the air like a cloud on a swollen breeze. Crown Larks play a mixture of free jazz and psychedelic rock and a million other things. Their songs build over time until a glorious finale. It's not unlike Wooden Shjips or Bardo Pond. I'd love to have them again, but without the total rainout if there is a next time. Check out some tunes (maybe even buy some):

Finally Robin Vote played last. I had last seen Robin Vote four or five years ago, remembering when Colin had lead a band called Colin and the Shots. I remember when he played at Dean Cercone's graduation party far away in Renfrew. This was similar, but totally different. It was electric alt-country/folk with some resemblance to Talking Heads. I liked all of the songs, but the second song and the last one, "State of Grace", were especially good. I had to cut Robin Vote off a little early, we were way beyond time by then, but I hope it doesn't reflect on my opinion of them.

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