Magik Markers - A band with a lot of buzz that I've seen once before. A three piece with Singer-Guitarist Elisa Ambrogio with bassist and drummer/keys/guitar/whatever. I enjoyed the set more this time around with really nice driving psychedelia, both quiet and moderately raucous (if there is such a thing). I couldn't put my finger on a good comparison until I thought of the unclassifiably punk band, Flipper. The Markers do some of the same fierce originality and odd playing that the Flipper oddballs did many a year back. Good set.
Ghost - The regular six gentlemen from Japan had Helena Espvall of Espers and all kinds of other projects on cello. No surprise as singer Masaki Batoh and Espvall played for me at Terrastock last year prior to touring Europe and around. Ghost was a little more stripped down instrumentally without a lot of the electronics and timpani, but still created the usual great sounds. Batoh did start the show by blowing into something that looked like a loosely closed umbrella with burnt out Christmas tree lights on it. Michio Kurihara more than filled in any missing sounds with his usually brilliant searing lead guitar work. Nice mix of songs, although one jam got a little long on the jazz which is usually ok, but I wanted as many songs as they could pack in from their vast catalogue. Ultimately they played a lot and played great and I hope they come back again next year.
Quote of the Night: "Have you ever heard of the Fall?" I was asked while dining in Ben's Chili Bowl. Generally, the counter is good for some throwaway conversation, but that one surprised me. However, I was reading a Mojo and the guy next to me noticed the headline was a play on words on a Fall album. I did tell them that I had heard of them and seen them once in Cleveland (opening for a pre-Zen Arcade Husker Du, no less). Anyway, we do owe it to John Peel to talk about the Fall now and then. So here's my Fall story for this year.