Sleepytime Gorilla Museum

Sunday, August 19, 2007

The night before last I went to hear SGM at the Highline Ballroom here in NY. If you haven’t heard of them, well, I’m not sure what labels to use; thrash pre-apocalypse post-nihilist metal perhaps? Let’s just say I was one of the very few people there without piercings or tatoos (and perhaps the only one whose hairless head was not the result of shaving). But I gotta tell ya’ I have not heard such precise and well executed metric-modulations since…, well, since the last time I heard SGM. But little surprise here, seeing that my dear friend and consummate musician Carla Kihlstedt is one of the creative forces in the band. I couldn’t really understand the words they were scream-singing, but they were nice enough to give a hint of the content before each song. One was about trees, one about rocks, or the “mineral kingdom,” and one sincerely and touchingly dedicated to the guitarist’s dying father. They also used a bunch of home-made instruments and a few songs had some microtonal guitar work. I don’t know if they are aware of this connection, but they could be Glenn Branca‘s offspring. Also, they were joined by my dancer friend Tanya Calamoneri who did some wonderful and appropriate rocked-out butoh movement (how slowly can one dance fast). All in all a very enjoyable, albeit very loud, evening. It made me proud of my recently-former home town of Oakland, CA (where they hail from). I find their material is best heard live, so if you get a chance, check ’em out (don’t forget your earplugs).

Sleepytime Gorilla Museum – “Helpless Corpses Enactment”


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