Saturday, May 20, 2006

CAPSULE REVIEWS! JIM O'ROURKE, THE MEIVINS, KEIJI HEINO, CAMERON JAMIE



JIM O'ROURKE - THE STONE NYC - 5/16/06
I spoke to Jim O' Rourke a few weeks ago after noticing he would be playing at The Stone. I mentioned I was worried I wouldn't be able to get into show because the venue was so small and he had such a huge following. He told me not to worry because the last time he played there only about 20 people showed up. Maybe it was the posting on Brooklyn Vegan or news about the show that appeared elsewhere, but the line to get in was huge. I was in the neighborhood anyway and got there early and was about 6th in line but by the time doors opened the line was really, really long. I grabbed a seat right in front of Jim's seat and the place filled up and got swelteringly hot rather quickly. I am wondering if they had to turn people away. Anyhow, the show was a great acoustic set. Lots of plain old weird playing going on there. Poor Jim had severe neck problems and I could tell he was in quite a bit of pain. I caught up with him after the show and handed him the Final 3 record which I really think he'd dig.

KEIJI HAINO, THE MELVINS - THE FILMS OF CAMERON JAMIE - SYMPHONY SPACE - 5/17/06
I knew going into this show that it would be loud. My ticket was in the front row, dead center, right in the line of fire. I brought ear plugs but they did absolutely nothing. When the first film, Jo, started, Keiji Haino started off quietly and it didn't appear as though much sound was coming out of the 4 large Fender amps that were directly in front of me, at head level. Then he cranked them up. After about 30 minutes of his onslaught I thought my ears were bleeding and my blood was boiling. It was like I had the bends. What made Haino so brutal was the lack of low end. It was all screechy, flat-out deafening noise. It literally made me feel nervous. It was as though my body was being put through physical torture as well. And I fucking loved it. After Jo, the Melvins came out to play along with my personal favorite Kranky Klaus. The Melvins were nearly as loud, but their bass was absolutely cranking. Cranking to the point I felt nauseaus. Then for the last two films, The Melvins and Haino played together. It was almost unbearable. It was shaking my body and making my ears hurt. But I sincerely loved it. Haino was stupefying with his inventiveness and sheer volume, while the Melvins were just being their usual heavy selves. David Byrne, all of Sonic Youth, and several Whitney Biennial artists and staffers were on hand. I had a backstage pass and when I got there Sonic Youth, The Melvins, Tony Oursler, and several other bigshots were there. My low self-esteem immediately kicked in and I only stood there awkwardly for about 3 minutes before having Cameron Jamie sign my book and fleeing. My ears are still completely messed up and, because of the damage they have already suffered through the years, I am at a whole new level of deafness.

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