Thursday, April 29, 2010


Live at the Hollywood Theater. Tonight. Four hours ago.

two guitars, three long sets. While this was billed as Jandek featuring Thurston Moore, perhaps due to dint of their playing styles & personalities (& is the blur), TM came out as much more the show stealer. But it was nonetheless an incredible incredible evening. & Jandek's Branca-ish walking blues was a perfect center for TM's surface, which was, of course, all over the place. I squirmed with joy. & I hardly watched, as is my tendency when I'm really enjoying a musical performance.
Jandek spent most of the evening facing the theatre screen, away from the audience, while TM spent most of it facing us, but behind his bangs, & both of them paced from time to time. While TM never really riffed, but moved from high end noise to occassionally percussive sludge into controlled feedback - this may sound typical, I think it was on the contary just difficult for me to put in words. He was much louder, & used distortion & (I think) occasional, if for more than a few moments during the first "jam", effects, whereas, Jandek's tone was thin & clean. It sounded as if he was perhaps in a Lou Reed "ostrich tuning" (all strings tuned to the same note". He played very repetitively, in the afforementioned "walking blues," which is my poor job of describing his circular sounding movement of dissonant chords, & then into a dissonant strumming, & then back. Occasionally Jandek played what seemed to me to be very reminiscent of Sonic Youth, but the show never seemed derivative to me, & it was only after the second long & loud set that I gave in & put in the earplugs. The third set Thurston possibly played near the entirety of with a drum stick, tho this was not the first alternative, extracurricular element he brought in. I was actually surprised to hear them begin a third set, albeit delighted, when the mood changed, & they both sat for the first time. It may have been because I put in the plugs (I think this is likely), but for the third set the sound seemed more balanced.
After the show Chris & I went to Proper Eats for a vegan nacho. On the way out the door I noticed a book by Robert Duncan, & opened it to this poem:


By stress and syllable
by change-rhyme and contour
we let the long line pace even awkward to its period.

The short line
we refine
and keep for candor.

This we remember:
ember of the fire
catches the word if we but hear
("We must understand what is happening")
and springs to desire,
a bird-right light

This is the Yule-log that warms December.
This is new grass that springs from the ground.


richard lopez said...

sounds like a cool evening of serious noise. not surprised about the earplugs but am about how long you withstood the aural assault without recompense to try to salvage your hearing. moore is bad-ass and a pretty good poet too. he at least reads as much poetry, i think, as he does write it. but to round out your evening with duncan seems as fortuitous as it can get.

Anonymous said...

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