Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Toad's this week

Unless you've been dead asleep for the last few months, you are already aware that a few big fish are swimming upstream this week to play in our 5,544 square mile backwater. At Toad's Built to Spill play with Meat Puppets on Wednesday night, and Dinosaur Jr. on Friday night. You know these guys well enough, but what about the openers?

The Built to Spill / Meat Puppet show has The Drones opening. They play a laid back shred of bluesy punk garage and are all the way up from Melbourne, Australia.

And opening for Dinosaur Jr. is Om, a project with Al Cisneros on bass and Emil Amos of Grails on drums. There is no recording that could possibly do justice to this duo's sound. They drone - rock's rhythm section meditating through song. If G. I. Gurdjieff had an electric bass and an amp back in his time, he would have been the one channeling what Cisneros has tapped into. It does take patience and focus to get past the repetition, but the trance his playing puts you in is exhilarating. Not since Hoover's song Electrolux has simplicity sounded so intense. The one gripe might be that Emil Amos's drumming is a little too polished to match Cisneros's playing. Even so, Om are the Whirling Dervishes of psychedelic rock. I can't decide what's more impressive, Amos having to duct tape his blisters mid-song or Cisneros's fingers apparently being so shredded that he no longer has to worry about the pain.

No coincidence that all these guys are in town, as each are playing ATP Festival in upstate New York this weekend. Nice of them to stop by for a little taste for those of us unable to attend ATP.

Hey, maybe there's a secret third act playing that Dinosaur Jr. show... My Bloody Valentine anyone? Nah.

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