Kohoutek - Another searing set by one of my area favorites. I have reviewed them many times and most always have enjoyed their work. Nothing changed tonight, although the line-up adjusted by not having a saxophone and having a second guitarist (not counting the one lying on the floor that the guy who sits on the floor bangs on) join in. I believe this additional guitarist was in previous line-ups. The extra guitaring filled out the sound more and created a thicker, stronger sound. There was also plenty of melodies and musical moves within the noise which is why they succeed with me. Good stuff and a good crowd tonight was into it.
Major Stars - I have only seen this Boston band at two Terrastock festivals on big stages. They were fun both times, but not as memorable as some of their surrounding bands. I don't know if it was the more intimate club, but I enjoyed this set more this time around. I appreciated the vocals and rhythm section even more, which takes some careful listening as there are three guitars blasting away the entire set. If you want screaming guitar madness, this is the band. The sound is based in classic rock guitar form and not noisy atonal weirdness. In fact, I can never figure out if their set is an homage to classic rock guitar histrionics or a parody. Either way it works and is quite entertaining.
Rangda - This is a very interesting super-group trio for fans of creative guitar work. So why not start with drummer Chris Corsano who has played with Thurston Moore and other interesting people. He was very quick and had a jazzy style tonight. He was easily a good fit. One guitarist is Ben Chasny who I have seen twice before in his long running excellent band, Six Organs of Admittance, and in the brilliant and missed Comets on Fire. He brought all his eastern styles and moves that fit comfortably in folk one moment and searing rock the next. The second guitarist is Richard Bishop who I have seen with his brother on a tribute tour to their late bandmate from Sun City Girls, Charles Gocher. I also saw the Sun City Girls way way back in the day on their first US tour. So it is fitting that I see these guitarists in yet another unique format tonight. Bishop can play just about anything and not surprisingly, seemed perfectly at home with his band mates. The material was psychedelic in a moody improv manner with plenty of Eastern moves, jazz, folk, rock, post rock... Just pick whatever categories you like, there are likely some elements within. Basically, it is two of the most creative guitarists out there doing their thing and making a fairly full Velvet Lounge crowd happy in the process.
Quote of the Night: More from Ginger Baker's "Hellraiser"... "As I put the money for Bindon into a brown envelope, Liz said, 'Here, I've got something to go in with that.' And she produced a rune written in red ink that we slipped n between the twenty-pund notes. 'When that bastard gets the money, he'll get more than he bargained for,' she snarled. 'He's going to get severly knifed!'
'Bloody good!' I replied."