For "Wingnut," Jeremy McLean joined in on guitar, and right away, the sound thickened up and became densely heavy. Zahari Tsigularov's ghostly yet edgy guitar work on "Albuquerque" was perfectly matched by the splintery low end provided by Boyd. Tom Murphy Action Friend was up next, and for this show, the band played as a two-piece; Aaron Holtzer was not able to be on hand, evidently. During "Status Epilepticus," the guys displayed their talent for letting the song hang in mid-air before crashing back in, as though they were holding their collective breath, caught up in an all-consuming contemplation. Their patience was rewarded about a half-hour later, when all the lights came back on and "Toshi Fest," a triple-CD release from bands who recorded with Toshi Kasai, commenced.
Osyluth Tom Murphy Osyluth, a four-piece whose sound falls somewhere between death metal and classic thrash, got things going. This was especially apparent when the band engaged in an atmospheric piece that bordered on a noise composition, with McLean using a guitar treated with a stick under the strings, objects clipped to the fretboard, and textural elements created by dragging objects across those same strings. Because of that, he pointed out, the band isn't the typical act that engineer Toshi Kasai normally records. That was followed by a tune called "Scorned" and "Involuntary Organ Donor," both clearly indicative of the sense of humor this band possesses. Mom reference, and ending with "Moans Through a Ball Gag. In his absence, Jeremy McLean, wearing an old Dead Milkmen T-shirt, and Paul Alexander, with the Foreskin sticker on the face of his bass drum, went into an almost uninterrupted set of largely instrumental music that shifted seamlessly between styles and tones without missing a beat. The interplay between McLean and Alexander was interesting to watch as Alexander indicated with facial expressions, gestures and shifts in rhythm where the changes took place. A little after 9: Inside, plenty of people had shown up in good spirits and decided to wait and see what happened. In fact, McLean probably ran through most Western, electric guitar styles during the course of the show. The Skivies with Jeremy McLean Tom Murphy Von Feldt was especially active at this show, gesturing theatrically and geting swept up in the emotion of each song. In moments that were alternately jazzy, dreamy, aggressive, contemplative, menacing, funky and haunting, Action Friend recalled the Minutemen's eclectic mixture of sounds, only with a bit more metallic guitar work. With everyone dressed in white and Sean Boyd wearing a bowler hat, the Skivies could have been the Droogs all grown up. Zahari Tsigularov from left and Ryan Puerber of the Skivies. For "Wingnut," Jeremy McLean joined in on guitar, and right away, the sound thickened up and became densely heavy. The low end and the low notes on the guitar were visceral in a way you don't often experience in a room that doesn't have an incredibly robust sound system. For the last part of the set, DJ Von Feldt from -he Skivies joined in on vocals, and the guys played a song that could have been some kind of bizarro dream-pop number recalling "Summertime Rolls" by Jane's Addiction gone psychedelic. For "The Ox," Boyd's gnarly yet sinuous bass lines seemed to prominently carry the song along on a wave of irresistible sonic force. Pureber proved himself an immediate and perfect fit with the band with his gift for not just hitting hard, but being able to smoothly transition from driving dynamics into delicate percussive flourishes. It almost made it seem like some sort of telepathy existed between the two, even though in reality, it was probably just so much practice and playing together that made certain shifts -- no matter how seemingly off the cuff -- look effortless. At the end, the Skivies played virtually all of the new album but left off the epic "Toshi's Lament. Jeremy McLean of Action Friend using treated guitar. Zahari Tsigularov's ghostly yet edgy guitar work on "Albuquerque" was perfectly matched by the splintery low end provided by Boyd. The singer went on to tell us that the next song was called "BTK," about his uncle who killed a lot of people. If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
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