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What You Missed: Volcano Choir

26 Mar

Last night at the Cedar Cultural Center marked the “first North or South American appearance” for Volcano Choir, the Justin Vernon-fronted Eau Claire-based group. Mystery Palace opened up the late show and the room was packed, and so without further ado, here are some random, short-circuited thoughts from the night that probably should have been better organized and fleshed out. Oh well. This is pretty accurate as to our state of mind last night:

-Short white people. Lots of them. Young ones, too.
-Mystery Palace. Music for sexy robots. Or sex music for robots, or maybe music for sex robots. Sex robots do it robotically, which probably isn’t all that great. There’s a difference there. But sexy robots is where it’s at.
-I wish James Buckley had more to do on these bass lines. Oh, there he goes! Oh, now it’s back to the loop.
-Ryan Olcott’s vox are all getting put through the same fuzzy patch, which is kind of like listening to Apple Talk set to Serge Gainsbourg with the volume turned down.
-Girl, I really wanna tell you something…about strobe lights in fog, yeah.
-I really kind of like the smell of fog machine fog.

-Man I am tired. That dude’s yawning, too. So is she. Glad it’s not just me. La la la, violins and strings, whattaya tryna doo, put us all to bed here?
-That’s an impressive number of cables coming out of that keyboard rig. Nothing out of the monitors during soundcheck? Not good. Maybe the DI will help? No? OK. Got it figured out? Maybe? Yes? Man, I would hate to try and set that up in a bar.
-You guys were just in Japan? Shit, man. How was that? Did you feel like you were on a humanitarian USO tour? (Wait, that was in November. My bad.)
-This starting off nice and slow. Drifting and wavery, deconstructed blues, a glitch, yeah, ok. Oh, snap! Way to bring in the drums. Now we’re rolling.
I wonder how much Marc Ribot these guys listen to. That would be a kind of awesome double bill.
-This is way better than James Blake.
-Minneapolis to Milwaukee, the Grand Midwest Tour 2011!
-This dude playing guitar in front of me would be played by Mark Ruffalo in a movie.
-Nice, with that speed, the drumsticks are tracing themselves in the light and…Holy shit! Drumstick flying past! Nailed the girl behind me in the face! Good thing her glasses are strong & she’s a tough cookie. Holy shit!
-After a new song, “Blue Ni-Ni”: Mark Ruffalo-looking guitar player- “Well, that worked, sort of.” Me- “We don’t know the song, so we can’t tell. It went though, it did go.”
-This is getting kind of cosmic. Not like, “I Got Dem Ol’ Kozmic Blues Again, Mama”, but like, documentary on vedic chanting cosmic. I’m gonna think about the interconnectedness of the universe for a little while here.
-And we’re back.
-Money quote from Justin- “This song starts the same way as the last one. Japanese audiences are very polite, but also very honest. We played these two songs back to back and somebody yelled out, “The same.” Not being a dick about it, just perceptive.”
-Not the same. Close though.
-“Still” works just fine by itself, with or without Kanye. That’s a sexy jam. That’s how hot shit should end. Sexy music for electric people, yeah.

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