Volcano the Bear (w/ No Neck Blues Band. The Psychic Elves)
Friday November 17th, 2006 at Hint House (No Neck's Loft space in Harlem)
This was a brilliant show and here are some reasons.
2. I hear you asking: "Why is Volcano the Bear so much better than nearly every other band in the world?"
3. maybe because they are brutally original, and uncompromisingly bizarre.
4. The show began with Aaron and Dan throwing cymbals on the ground and the growling and whining of Laurence's tape decks. The whole show in my head is this chopped up collage of wild gestures and gags. some highlights:
5. aaron walking around furiously with a microphone in his mouth, laws' hitting aaron's adam's apple like an amplified throat whammy bar,
6. Aaron walking into the audience with his weird clarinet mouthpiece chanter tube thing.
7. Dan's kazooing and playing piano like hand drums
7.1 Dan/Aaron clarinet duet
8. Laurence's tape hacking and fader/tapespeed play that created a completely surreal sense of postdigital decay. Like the floor the music stood on was rapidly deteriorating.
9. Aaron's stadiumrock/tribal/"animal from the muppet babies" drumming
10. now in retrospect it all reminded me of a play i saw in Finland once. I couldn't understand a single word but the men were always thrashing about in fits of anger and emotion, grabbing each other and fighting. In a completely exaggerated way...like pro wrestling. It turned into a dance, that was deeply masculine but terribly entertaining.
11. Volcano the Bear is like watching your three best friends, The demure/sensitive one, the alpha/performative one and the zany/eccentric one, all battle it out for your wonderment. They pose and posture, dance and wrestle, yell, touch gently, sing, honk, and bang. And then they all telepathically revert into these pre-literate post-rock super-british "manthems," which steal your heart away on a gentle caveman kabuki rollercoaster.
12. VtB isn't highbrow, it's pure entertainment but these are things you have to leave at home: conventional song structure, expectations for normal instruments, hopes for a sound world that is consistently soothing/familiar and...well...most of what you expect when you think about "entertainment." But once you leave all those things behind and sit on the floor while Aaron stomps through the audience squawking a clarinet mouthpiece into a big piece of bamboo, I'm sure you'll agree that was worth it.
They're on tour in the States..don't miss:
|AS220, Providence||Providence, Rhode Island|
|611 Florida Ave NW w/ Charalambides||Washington DC, |
|Nightlight, Chapel Hill, NC||Chapel Hill, North Carolina|