Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Greg Ginn & the Royal We - Cinema Cinema -- Paperhaus - Jul 24 2012

Greg Ginn & the Royal We - That people actually pay big money to see Henry Rollins talk and only handfuls pay pocket change to see Greg Ginn play guitar will forever be a mystery to me. Thankfully, Ginn continues on, long after the Black Flag days, to keep playing in his unique style. I saw him in Denver four years ago to even a smaller crowd than what was assembled in the Paperhaus living room tonight. That time he had a mandolin player and drummer with backing tracks and visuals. Now it is just him with the backing tracks and visuals. Sadly, the computer cut out on him in the three songs that followed the opening instrumental. So after 22 minutes, he cut it off and allowed his touring partners to play as he had planned to play a second set after their set anyway. So more on that set later, but first...

Cinema Cinema - We have a guitar/drums duo from Brooklyn up. The guitarist adds some hard edged vocals that try to keep up with the amazing mayhem these guys cook up. They remind me a bit of John Brannon's Easy Action crossed with a crazed Japanese metal band (pick your favorite). Not quite that sort of clean power in the vocals, but loads of power and speed in the playing. The riffs are flying and there is some distinction in the songs, noisy but structured. There is some looping but even when it is just the two sounds of guitar and drums, they have an amazing thickness to them. I may have been a bit worn down at the 46 minute mark as their set ended, but once I recovered, I really have to admire these guys. They tour a lot with Greg Ginn and hopefully that will happen again or they will just pop down here on their own some time. Hvy fans, take note.

Greg Ginn & the Royal We - Backing bands can offer serious problems with drugs, alcohol, attitudes, but the computerized Royal We also had its temperamental fits during the first set. No problems in the latter set as it locked in perfectly with beats, keys, and some bass. The thick and melodic sounds allowed Greg Ginn to add textural guitar parts and theremin sounds into fun patterns. This set was over an hour and was never tiring to me as there was always a great groove established. This is some of the more intricate drone work you will hear in a post Frippian way. Even when he was in Black Flag or Gone, his style was 'out there' compared to his peers creating music much less predictable than what people expected. He is still challenging listeners, although this was quite an agreeable sumptuous sound. I chuckled when I read Allmusic's description of the latest album as they got it right by describing it in basic terms and adding a 'but it's not...' clause to everything they were trying to say. It is exactly that comfort/contrast dynamic that was so effective tonight. One of the hardest touring guitarists ever has still got the chops, the creativity, and is still on the road. Hopefully that will continue.

Quote of the Night: Well, it was a quiet day and night for me, so I'll reprint something from  Former Futball star who has been on the ManU injury list for much of the last couple of years, Michael Owen, had an open Q+A on twitter and got these questions...

'Where do you get your tickets from for the match? I see you every week and they're good seats in the crowd.'

'I'm expecting a parcel on Thursday, would you be able to sit in for me while I'm out? I have Racing UK & ATR & my sofa's leather?'

'What's your favourite sport: football or shooting peasants?'

'Should more footballers support the ailing UK print industry by commissioning glossy promotional brochures?'

'What is the plural of octopus??'

'Have you been injured in an accident that wasn't your fault?'

'If a plane leaves at 8:53am & another at 9:32am both travelling at 532mph, at what point would you realise you're still a bellend?'

'Have you ever considered retiring and admitting that you actually hate football? Or taken Ketamine? Or w*nked off a horse?'

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