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In the Water with Miami Dolphins

This show feels like it was forever ago, but Aloe and Satyr/Elfheim (that's me) went swimming with Miami Dolphins just a week ago on September 13th. I was still suffering from my severe toothache; unlike at Chrome Dreams III, this was post-surgery. I was on the way to recovery, but it would still take a while. I still feel a small pain in my mouth today.

On Wednesday the 20th, I did not want to go to Roboto at all. I had stayed home for several days with this pain, just playing The Sims 3 and other video games. I was living through my sim mostly; I didn't want to do anything but see my digital person become more of a rockstar and have a cute romance. But alas, I had my own not-rock-not-star stuff to deal with and no cute romances to go on or to come home to. "That's the way of the world".

I pared down my gear (not as much as last time) in anticipation of walking, but I got a ride to Roboto anyway. Nobody was there except the person running sound. I took a walk around the neighborhood, and came back to see some kind of a crowd actually.


After a small discussion, it was decided that Aloe would play first. They had some important stuff to do soon after, and I was in no hurry. Their set was good, spindly guitars recalling Sonic Youth. It was similar to the last time at Gooski's or the time before at the Lawrenceville VFW for RANT, but I actually felt like the sound in Roboto made Aloe's drums sound great. The heavy thuds hit the walls flat and came back as the sonic solids of Television's Billy Ficca. The guitars sounded good, but the vocals got drowned out. On the last song, Aloe turned some stuff down, and everything sounded awesome (even though it didn't sound bad before that).



Miami Dolphins was next. I didn't know what to expect from this band, named after a sport team. It was so cool! One of their songs recalled the legendary Pittsburgh band, the Cardboards, and they had an overall post-punk sound. That's not all though. Dance beats fused with military marches and spidery leads turned to rough chugging rock chords. Amidst all of this, the singer alternated between frenetic yelps and more conventional singing with quite an impressive range. "Nobody wants to go to war" - "it doesn't mean we shouldn't do it"; their songs made me think about violence, the environment, and our place in the world as individuals and as collectives. Also, they coincedentally reminded me of something I just learned at Chrome Dreams III: there are bits of plastic in much of our water across the globe. It's something to think about. I assume it is very important to Dolphins.

photo credit - Dan Spagnolo

I played last. Originally, Sorry I'm Dead was supposed to play, but our drummer had a schedule conflict that she only realized later. I figured I would just play solo instead, and then forgot the exact date (just like the scheduling conflict with the band), realizing it at the last minute. I brought my guitar and the sequencer. I intended to play a modified version of "Giants of Earth", and my set began that way, but it quickly turned into a pastiche of industrial noise and distant beeps. The noise was there to begin with as a background to the guitaring; I wanted to add layers, and it worked, becoming the main attraction. A rust-cloaked train derailed somewhere on a dust-covered world of burned red and this was the soundtrack to the internal computer failure that caused the disaster. It must have been a ghastly scene. I am happy with the set I played, though I despair at the fates of those passengers on those twisted rails.

Though it was a bit of a pain, literally, I'm glad I played the set and saw the other bands. Miami Dolphins were so cool; I got a CD that I'll be reviewing soon. It's always nice to play with Aloe, and I am really happy with the set I played. I'm inspired to do more Satyr/Elfheim shows this year; I want to consolidate all the live sets I end up doing into a new album. We'll see how many that ends up being (there's just one more set for the future - December).

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