Tuesday, June 15, 2010

don't blame it on the good times, blame it on the boogie.

Treasure Statei found out about this show at the last second and ran for tickets. i was really surprised to see that i didn't need to worry because the store i bought tickets from had only sold two which tells me that it was not advertised well.

it was my first time at meta gallery on ossington and while it isnt a bad space, i was not impressed by what they were showing. picture a toy box thrown on it's side so everything fell out on the floor. then pixelate it and add a tiger's head or mouth at random and a human hand. then paint it blue, sort of. now try and tell me that it represents anything other than a bad sense of proportion and slapdash workmanship. that wasn't the reason i was there though so i didn't really care about the pop design art on the walls. this night was all about matmos and so percussion.

we had to sit through two gents calling themselves "jermiah and son" or something like that. that wasn't actually what they were called but it was equally boring. they played with tape recorders and filters for about thirty minutes and people politely clapped. one or two people even bobbed their heads to a non-existent beat. this was a noise set that went on for too long and had no direction. there was nothing complicated about what they did or how they did it. there was no sense of cohesion with the material they were playing and could have been any random series of noises. my favourite part was when one of them walked away all together. what kind of performance allows someone the luxury of walking away from their "instrument"?

i've been a fan of matmos since i heard about their "california rhinoplasty" ep back in aught one or so. it was one of the first times i had heard of people taking samples of every day sounds and making music with them. i had heard industrial music before but that made sense to me. banging pieces of metal or wood was a physical means to make odd sounds. what's not to like? recording someone getting a nose job and then turning it into an odd electro pop tune was just bizarre. i loved it. i wish i didn't know where the source material was from but i loved it.

i found out about so percussion by accident when searching for jaga jazzist. they're similar in some aspects. i didn't know they are a four piece till that night and they were amazing. most of the things they do play with syncopation and timing more than harmony and pitch. they all play multiple instruments but i believe they were all originally drummers. their gear was decked out with everything from chew toys to usb golf video game controllers and a plastic cactus. they were mental.

i almost shat myself when i realized so percussion and matmos were playing together though. it was crazy. i honestly thought we got screwed and matmos wasn't playing because as far as i knew, so percussion was a six piece band. i also didn't recognize the songs they were playing (which are off the treasure state album). then someone told me that was them in the middle of so. oh my. who ever had the idea to team the two up is brilliant. the show was fantastic and they played seamlessly together.

as for meta gallery hosting more shows in the future, i think they need to put a little more thought into crowd control, viewing area vs. crowd size and rethink the cost of refreshments. $5 dollar half filled cups of lemon water didn't go over so well with the audience. i think they have potential to put on some great shows in that space, they just weren't sure about how it should be laid out. kudos for the effort. oh, stanchions or something to keep people from getting too close to the performers and art work would be a good idea too. it looked like people were leaning on paintings at one point and while i wasn't a fan of the work, there's no reason to damage it intentionally or otherwise.

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