Friday, December 23, 2011

Black Breath, Leatherhorn, Beattofuckingdeath – Shakedown – December 23rd, 2011

Black Breath, Leatherhorn, Beattofuckingdeath – Shakedown
December 23, 2011 - source

Black Breath, Leatherhorn, Beattofuckingdeath – Shakedown

December 23rd, 2011

Beattofuckingdeath. The Germanic Teutonic pulse thundering under Set H’s sticks. Jeff Debock dedicating songs to Jon Benet Ramsey, himself, berating the crowd to get fucking stupid, reeling into the crowd gathered around their set-up in front of the stage, moving from surreal banter to full throated scream. Short explosive pieces, not songs, more like deconstructions of silence, Zach’s guitar creating violent feedback laden odes to the joke of the world. Debock dressed in an outlandish Antarctic pimp suit careening around like a skeletal windmill covered with meat, a psychotic pinwheel spinning off sprays of blood/ rage filled vocals into the crowd, all seeming like they would like to take a step or two back. You wonder, maybe worry, that Debock is holding razors in his hand, ready to gut the first row because they aren't being "rowdy" enough.

The redemption of Leatherhorn. Hooded figures working obscurely on the stage drenched in blood red light, skull lamps glowing in either side. Like a chainsaw through sheet metal, Leatherhorn begins. Jeff’s vocals rise up operatic over the metal, moving through time changes, melodic warps and slides. Driven by Clapper’s relentless bass and Noah’s machine gun artillery drumming, they launch into “Meet the Beast.” This is war music. No quarter. Just beautiful slaughter. A musical analogy to the annihilation of the listener. Sean and Nathan’s guitars spit hot white arc light from the welded metal. Imagine all the lost souls in hell given one last chance to play their pain. Picture a horse ridden to death and then kicked to a bass beat like the thunder of the Gotterdammerung.

Lightning burning into the brain, frying out neurons. There is good metal and great metal. Then there is apocalyptic metal. Leatherhorn: cutting the head off of the pale horse, calling down the wrath of the gods, destroying mountains metal.

Black Breath wastes no time. Volcanic rumblings from Elijah’s bass and Jamie’s drums. The sound of flesh screaming across metal strings, pounding like the last heart beats of a dying world. Mark and Eric’s guitars wailing through arpeggios, the ghost of complex classical music buried under the rumbling of enormous machines, Segovia and Bach spinning in their graves until the earth catches fire.

Fresh off a European tour, Black Breath’s sound is tight and professional. Polished. Practiced. Cut down from the raw like a diamond. Neil launches into one song after another. No waiting for applause. A relentless onslaught of beautiful noise. They have a sound you want to call heavy, but it is heavier than that. A black hole of musical gravity. Dense compaction, music reduced down to a singularity. A still point of a burning universe.

Imagine a theater of anatomy constructed of sound, where a corpse/song is being dissected with sardonic enthusiasm. What is irrelevant is thrown splattering against the walls, what matters is held up like the still beating heart of a recently slaughtered animal. Primal music. Driving towards the necessity of sacrifice, of any sort of intense gesture, authentic act for the times. The music is out to crucify everyone here, nailing the flesh to the walls of the Shakedown. An aural assault, notes piercing through the skull to impale the brain on violent hooks, songs suspended over the crowd like the Cherokee sun dance practitioners, hanging in the dark shadows of the Shakedown, dripping blood, eyes rolled up in the skull, dreams of violent ecstasy. Sort of music Georges Bataille would play while desecrating corpses.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Mo-Down at the Shakedown: The Gallus Brothers and Crow Quill Night Owl, Dirty Bird Cabaret, Owen & His Checkered Past, The Good Time Girls - December 3rd, 2011


Mo-Down at the Shakedown: The Gallus Brothers and Crow Quill Night Owl, Dirty Bird Cabaret, Owen & His Checkered Past, The Good Time Girls

December 3rd, 2011

So this is the event where men shavedown their faces at the beginning of the month, then grow out and groom their moustaches until the end of the month where the best moustaches are celebrated and awarded. Team MoLove promoted the event, along with the ebullient and pulchritudinous Good Time Girls, as a means of promoting awareness of prostate cancer and also to benefit Mount Baker Planned Parenthood.

The Shakedown has been transformed into a twisted Western saloon, with the Good Time Girls and the Dirty Bird Cabaret dressed in full-out 1890’s attire. Some genius welded together a beautiful mustache ride / see-saw (now above the bar at the Copper Hog) and several were taking “rides.” There was also a photobooth set up to one side to record the mustached moments.

Owen and His Checkered Past set the perfect musical tone with mandolin mountain blues. Owen up there with a suitcase kick drum strumming out a tight staccato rhythm singing in a clean backcountry front porch style reminiscent of Doc Watson or a long lost descendent of the Carter Family. The sound is excellent. Lyrics absolute 21st century. Name checking Derrida during the excellent song, “Upstanding Citizen Blues.” Later, Roger comes up with a banjo and closes out the set with people on their feet dancing like it was 1899.

The Good Time Girls then corralled all the mustached men onstage for a best mustache contest. About a dozen guys all with fine examples of facial hair do their best. But one guy towards the end, with a somewhat unimpressive ‘stache, unbuttons his shirt and then just the top part of his pants to reveal a perfectly shaved mustache in his pubic hair. Of course, there’s your winner.

The Gallus Brothers and Crow Quill Night Owl embody the spirit of a timeless American style music. You imagine a troupe of traveling musicians, well rehearsed, singing songs that are as comfortable and familiar as an old pair of boots. Working songs that walk into your brain like an old church hymn and then proceed to tell the entire congregation of mind the dirtiest joke they know. All with a disarming smile. Devin Champlin playing guitar with old time expertise and Lucas Hicks doing his usual magic with the spoons and other percussive items. Kit Stovepipe on guitar and Alex on banjo add depth and the mystery of sublime accompaniment.

The Dirty Bird Cabaret was also full swing, dancing on the bar, kicking up the bloomers, hanging from the rafters, gyrating on upturned glasses and being generally provocative and beautiful. Along with the Good Time Girls and the general assembly of everyone having a great time, the Shakedown Movember was a great event for good causes. Here’s to more events the celebrate facial hair.