March 21st, 2008
|06:38 pm - Rock & Roll: Thy Name Is The Boredoms|
The Boredoms played the Filmore, Tuesday night. Transformed it, even. In the round. Surprisingly, the show didn't sell out. Still, somewhere around a thousand people managed to converge on the floor before the darkened main stage. A thousand people, shoulder to shoulder, encircling The Boredoms. Yamantanka EYE and his crew performed on a circular riser, there on the dancefloor. Out of that thousand, I couldn't tell you how many people shared in a common religious experience as old as humanity itself. No doubt some were thinking about crouching down waist-level and sneaking another hit of those sweet, sweet Northern California Heads. Some were thinking about their chances of getting laid. Maybe some were even thinking about leaving.
I wasn't thinking, at all, and I don't think I was alone in my non-thinking. It was that kind of rite.
The show definitely had the air of a ceremony to it, there was an invocation at the very beginning; A man dancing and waving two sticks--two burning sticks. . . and he began chanting/howling/calling. . . whether it was in Japanese or some other language or some *other* language that originated somewhere from the world within his skull doesn't really matter. His call, as I heard it, was a naked one, semantically and syntacticly void. . . no lyrics, at this show, just *pure* singing. It seemed like the burning sticks were microphoned, and played as if they were instruments. "Whoosh--BIZZIT! Whoosh--BIZZIT!" as a rhythm, and processed vocals ringing out. Echo, chorus, flange. . . all of those little toys, I'll bet, he ran his voice through them all.
That call to prayer was finished with the laying of the hands on a keyboard, and suddenly The Boredoms--the four of them--took off flying with the collective attention they had easily collected.
The attention-span of each member of the audience was a flower (a curvy, yellow one, maybe) that sprang up from a seed beneath the scalp at the top of the skull, blossoming and twisting it's stemmy, shaky way toward the group. And as these quivering tulips made their way to the little, circular riser, there on the floor, the group seemed to get higher and higher off of the fragrance. The sea of people, waves and waves of heads and shoulders shifting from purple, to red, to yellow and back again beneath the houselights, never seemed to recede, from my bird's-eye-view.
But does the flower grow into or out of the ground?
The Boredoms, these days consists of Yamantanka Eye, Yoshimi P. We, Hila Y, and Seiichi Yamamoto. In their present incarnation, the driving force behind the music is the driving force that's always been behind the music, *all* music--the drum. There are keyboards, tape-loops, six-headed guitars and other electronic doo-dads, but it's basically a percussion outfit. At times, they sound like a Kurosawa film's soundtrack played at times two. Others, they sound like a trip into the sun.
I'm hesitant to say too much about how they sounded Tuesday night. They either tapped into the source and presented us with MUSIC in its purest form or totally transcended MUSIC altogether. The group asked that no one use ANY kind of camera, at the show. I'm sure there are a few videos taken from that show, on YouTube, but I'm not going to link to them. What went down that night can't be filtered through a cellphone mic and then piped out of a set of laptop speakers. When four supertight drummers lock into a groove, you pretty much need to be there.
Hell, I'd love a recording that reproduced the feel I got off that music, but I have my doubts even something tapped from the soundboard could ever hit me the same. I've seen cellphone clips of The Boredoms, and wouldn't encourage anyone to seek them out.
The show I saw attests to the fact that some things are still sacred. We all go to concerts hoping that we might catch a good one, but it's rare indeed to attend a truly great show.
They've got a myspace page, though, and although the music offered there sounds nothing like the performance I saw earlier this week, it does offer a glimpse of where they've been before. While looking for cellphone videos to bag on, I found this experiment they conducted beneath the Brooklyn Bridge in New York. Thanks to Some Day Fire Productions.
The remainder of their scheduled Spring 2008 Tour is beneath the cut.
21/Mar/2008 (Fri) : SEATTLE, WA Neumos
25/Mar/2008 (Tue) : MINNEAPOLIS, MN First Avenue - in the round
26/Mar/2008 (Wed) : CHICAGO, IL Logan Square - in the round
29/Mar/2008 (Sat) : BOSTON, MA Paradise
30/Mar/2008 (Sun) : NEW YORK, NY Terminal 5 - in the round
02/Apr/2008 (Wed) : PHILADELPHIA, PA Starlight
03/Apr/2008 (Thu) : WASHINGTON, DC 9:30 Club
The attention-span of each member of the audience was a flower (a curvy, yellow one, maybe) that sprang up from a seed beneath the scalp at the top of the skull, blossoming and twisting it's stemmy, shaky way toward the group. And as these quivering tulips made their way to the little, circular riser, there on the floor, the group seemed to get higher and higher off of the fragrance.
I imagine something more like daisies, or chrysanthemums, better -- something with explosions of slivery, little petals. Nevertheless, this is the best description of the Boredoms effect on its audience (and vice versa) that I have ever read.
It's even cooler that they were at the center of it all, the center of the flower of flowering flowerheads.
|Date:||March 23rd, 2008 01:56 am (UTC)|| |
thank you for sharing your night.rrunkle
I didn't fully regret being unable to see them at the Henry Fonda on the 16th until I read this post..
Dude, they'll be back. Something tells me they're gonna be milking this root-down thing of theirs for quite awhile, yet.
You remember that time we were kind of arguing back and forth about the way Bat-Chain Puller sounds? I picked that album up on 180-gram sometime back. I think the LP and the CD are. . . different as far the level/mix/overall sound is concerned. I still haven't done a side by side comparison or anything, but I've got a feeling something was lost when those tapes were burned to disc. That album, as it was heard when it was originally released, probably sounded super-rad to most of the ears that heard it. (All twelve hundred of them.)