John Congleton - Not only does John Congleton have an incredibly long and varied list of musicians that he has produced and engineered for, but his own music conjures up an incredibly long list of obscure acts that he somehow fits in with. He is on vocals playing acoustic and electric guitars with one key ingredient, a fellow at synthesizer. The guitars are sharply pummeled with oddball chords or worked into twisted spooky arrangements. The synthesizer and electronic parts are carefully worked in at various volume levels with great care and superb touch. His vocals are intense and have me listening more closely than usual. So who I am hearing? Is it Billy Childish with Claudio Simonetti? Perhaps TV Smith with Brain Eno? Maybe this is Suicide playing different instruments? I think it is actually the sons of Cosmic Michael and Nicodemus here on Earth to take us to the next level of accessible outsider music. Whatever it is, it is unique, exciting, and has easily won over the smart little crowd tonight. I am happy.
Suuns - I have liked this band previously, but after tonight, I really like them a lot. It could have something to do with them, but it is almost certainly me, for while this band is immediately interesting, I think their music ages well after spending some extra time with it. They began tonight's tight set with an easy going spacey sound that builds into their thick sound of two guitars, keyboards and drums. Three guys sing with one guitarist taking the lead. I particularly like how they rarely 'come up for air' and just keep the music coming. It has a certain krautrock brand of psychedelia and just keeps coming at you. It is far from jamming however, as the songs are clear and distinct, as throbbing and as droning as they may be. As the set moves on, you hear some of the more song oriented psychedelic-meets-shoe gaze styled music from yesteryear, although they don't quite fit that camp either. They have some hardened fans here tonight, but the word needs to spread further. Suuns is offering up a solid dose of 21st century psychedelic music--more grounded than most, but with plenty of room for mind expansion.
Trivia Bonus Question - What album cover are Suuns recreating in the above photo? Answer forthcoming.