Friday, February 15, 2013

Retribution Gospel Choir - Deathfix -- DC9 - Feb 14 2013

Deathfix - This is the third time I have seen this excellent local band and as such, I am not sure I have a whole lot to say other than that they should be included in every indie rock music fan's universe. The well known names of Brendan Canty  on guitar and vocals ad Richard Morel on keys and vocals make up the core of the band. They along with an excellent foundation on the drums and bass blast away with psychedelic rock that can go a little straighter and even funkier if they like. There are layers of complexity delivered with great skill that should be a model for aspiring bands to see what makes a good local band turn into a great local band (and thus something that can achieve recognition worldwide). I would go well out of my way to see them again.
Retribution Gospel Choir - After my personal loss (see below), it was essential to get out of the house and into the world. And not only do I get to see one of my favorite bands, but I have the added connection of seeing a band from Duluth, Minnesota, where I was born oh so long ago. Normally, I try not to stretch my connections sightings too far, but it really helped tonight for me to lock into this band. But I have been a fan of them since early on when 2/3 of Low added a drummer and took the music of Alan Sparhawk to some very heavy places. They vary things up well, but less so tonight as they were blazing away the entire 62 minutes with barely a moment's rest. There was no set list as they dovetailed their shorter songs before moving into an incredibly long droning jam which went on and on and was wonderful every step of the way. It is interesting that some of the better songwriters around like Sparhawk and David Eugene Edwards (Woven Hand) are enjoying adding this drone element to their music. It is rock and psychedelic and not ambient, so it is not a big jump and it is great to see talented writers push the limits in this manner. Brendan Canty joined in on one spacey tune toward the end of the set. It was a good sized crowd tonight, but this band should really be packing them in at bigger clubs. But maybe we can keep it a secret a little while longer so we can all get right up front and let the roar of this spectacular music blanket us again.

Tribute of the Night: Sadly, my cat Tam Lin passed away this morning. While some have suggested that bringing in personal matters into this blog is wrong, I feel it is a good time to remind people that this is not a professional magazine here. My goal is to bring a sense of history and connection to all the great music going on along with a desire to get people excited to go out and discover the many great bands toiling away and experience it all live. But until I get other writers aboard (if that ever happens), this is pretty much my solo journey through it all. And not only do I have biases in music, my personal life bleeds into how I perceive music on a given day (positively and negatively). My cat's illness has affected the quantity of sets I have caught in the last three months and made me more indifferent about a lot of them. But he has moved on and I will need to get out of the house more, so it is time for more live music in the next few months. Tam Lin was a total joy to live with and hopefully I will find some of that joy in the music I take in, like I did tonight.


ChrisO said...

I don't know Low and came in without knowing that to expect other than a new experience. I must confess that RGC's long droning jam pretty much turned me off. The drumming was pretty amazing, though, and the songs following it had enough structure to make me wish that they had stuck to that sort of material.

I've seen Deathfix twice now, and I'm not sure what to make of them. Live, I find the vocals lack intensity and the songs sound sort of thrown together. However, as I type this, I am listening to a stream of their album, and it sounds great (including the vocals). I can't be sure why I like the studio recording so much better than the live performances, as I can't compare them side-by-side. I'll check them out again, as I now know how good they can sound.

FYI, the Deathfix album stream is on -> First Listen. I noticed that also has a recording posted of the RGC's NYC show, complete with a guest guitarist (with whose name I am unfamiliar, in my usual lamentable ignorance).

David Hintz said...

I am more into drone these days, and it varied my expectations from previous shows, so I liked it. But for a first timer, yes, I can see the previous shows being a better way to experience them.

Deathfix has some songs that work better than others, but when they work, they blow me away. Fair point on the vocals as that seems to be treated more as an afterthought (as it is in many indie bands).

Thanks for the NPR tip. I saw that, too, and people should keep their eyes on NPR and a few other sites for these kinds of deals.

Oh, I see it was Nels Cline. I know the name, but can't place if I have seen him anywhere. He has worked with Mike Watt and Thurston Moore which means he is somewhere in their age range and is creative and outgoing as are the thousand other musicians that have worked with those two.

Chris O. said...

Dave - just in case you are not already aware, Low has a new album streaming on NPR. I'm listening to it right now - it is certainly a far cry from the RGC.