ohGr - Paradise, Boston 12-06-2008
[music | Miranda Sex Garden - Go Wailing Accents]
Tonight we have ohGr and American Memory Project at the 'dise. Also, grainy photos of same.
Short rundown and long bullshit rambling about Clubbers & Concertgoers
I thought I was lucky last year when we got to see Skinny Puppy at the Smoking Hole of Music on Lansdowne. And luckier when we bumped into Ogre on the street. That was very much "Kevin Ogilvie" asking for directions. It was very much Nivek Ogre inside, and we had a great time then. This time was way scaled back from the SP show but no less theatrical and much more personal. Ogre spent a good few minutes roaming around the stage, taking peoples cameras and phones and taking pictures of himself. I was not about to hand my camera over, so that didn't happen, but he was really interactive. At the beginning he came out with a zombie+surveillance camera suit with overcoat, pieces of which came off during the first few songs until there was Eric Draven basically (or Heath Ledger if you've never watched movies before 2005).
The show was lit pretty much entirely by LCD projectors, which looked really cool. Of course, it's a completely fucked environment to try and take pictures (at least if you're not good at it, which I'm not and don't use a flash, which I won't). They sounded as good as any industrial show I've been to, well, SP sounded good too, but really you could hear and understand vocals which is kind of rare in any kind of loud show.
American Memory Project has a cool premise, being to decontextualize historic film snippets and make music based on someone interpreting these without the history that goes along with them. They played behind a muslin sheet on which the film pieces were screened. It sounded like a fair amount of it was played live, which is good, though I only have evidence of a drummer and occasionally a guitarist visible. I think enough was played live not to have to qualify it as a Laptop Band, and so what, even if they were, I'd rather see them than someone jumping around banging on unplugged keyboards pretending to play.
Conceptually it was cool, the music was ok.
One thing that strikes me is the type of people who show up to shows vs the people who go to clubs and dance. No one really seems to dance or in fact move much at live shows, with the exception of Hanzel und Gretyl, which was in Northampton and thus doesn't count as a US date. Ministry had people moshing, I was one of them, and it was completely off the rails, but it was a metal crowd, which is great. But the difference was made really clear before the opening band and between sets when it was a DJ spinning Industrial Dance Standards. We had your TKK-of course, Supernaut-aaaf course, Headhunter--say it with me...(note:along with a lot of other newer stuff, I'm not complaining about any of this, it is all music I like or I wouldn't be here). And in a club, you'd have had impeccably presented Shiny People with very tall boots and complicated, expensive looking clothes. Seeing them live, the people who show are t-shirt wearing non-dancing and inexpensive looking. I don't know if these are different groups of people or what. Certainly us sweaty pit gorillas at Ministry/RevCo were not the same rivetheads who dance to Halloween in the clubs right? It's hard to say. I think because so much of the music is 15 years old (or in the case of Halloween, Jesus, wow...) mixed in liberally with the MSI, Combichrist and AssemblageVNV.
Again the HuG show was a total contradiction to all of this. That show was great because it had Band (We are Q), hour break, Band (Bella Morte), hour break, BAND. During those hour breaks the club essentially turned into Dance Club. It was cool to see bouncing masses during the Band parts, who all fucked off during the breaks, then the clubgoers in velvet cloaks and high boots who cleared off to the sides when it was time for New Band to come on. At the time I didn't really get this. Hanzel und Gretyl were hugely fun to dance and bounce around to, but there were maybe a couple dozen of us actually out on the floor. Now I think it was what happens when worlds collide. Clubgoers and Concertgoers. Concertgoers may tend not to be the stylish ones dancing, and Clubgoers may tend not to want to catch a WWII helmet to the face, as well as catching the Flying Loopy attached to that helmet.
For a time, I would have counted myself as a "floater", but for the wardrobe. I could go to a club night and drink and enjoy, and after enjoying drinking, pretend like I wanted to attempt to go dance and I really wish I'd gone out more just to dance and drink. But largely it would be no different musically than sitting listening to my CD collection and drinking drinks at 1/5 the cost of the club. I like the visceral experience of watching someone make music happen. All to often people just stand around and don't dance at all, probably due to the fact that we're packed in like war prisoners and so can't really move, and the policy at the 'Dise seems to specifically prohibit movement anyway.
Then there are those rare occasions where you get the perfect Peanut Butter + Chocolate mix of people who know how to use their feet and people who know how to use their elbows. I think I have to jump the fence and go to the Club side more to confirm my suspicions. Don't think I'll ever be caught dead dancing in shiny clothes though. I hate having any attention drawn to me at all, but for whatever reason I don't mind picking up a sweaty shirtless skinhead and marching across a pit arm in arm. Go figure. And I really, really love shiny clothes on everyone else. I think I'm why they invented pills. And bourbon.