Gang Gang Dance at the Southern Tonight!

March 29th, 2010 · 5 Comments · By

Gang Gang Dance are playing at The Southern tonight!

If you haven’t heard ’em, GGD are a pretty excellent art-rock/dance act from New York; I highly recommend you check out their 2005 album “God’s Money,” as it’s a tremendously confounding medley of off-kilter tribal beats, weird chimes, and spooky otherworldly singing; there’s heaps of jap-/kraut-rock far out moves wrapped up in a blurry blanket of no-wave / post-punk NY sensibilities. It’s like the “Akira” soundtrack, mixed with some Ash Ra Tempel, re-interpreted by Ciccone Youth, and it’s pretty fucking awesome.

I saw them open for Sonic Youth and White Magic around the time this album came out — unfortunately, they played the last notes of their last song at the moment I walked into the venue, so I can’t say I got the full experience of their set. (I even managed to miss a secret show of theirs at the place I was working a few weeks later, which is kind of embarasssing). So I’m excited to finally catch up with them tonight.

I should mention that their most recent album, 2008’s “Saint Symphna,” is much more conventional and “dance” oriented, at least in terms of the attitudes of the production, if not in terms of actual danceability. It’s still a worthy listen, but I’m also sort of hoping they haven’t These Are Powers-ed themselves, draining much that was vital in their music by straining it through NY dance-culture sensibilities. Anyhow, I’m thinking it’ll be a sweet show either way, and it’s not often a world-class NYC band plays in lil’ ol’ Cville, so I heartily encourage you to check it out.

The show is being presented by WTJU, and the openers are The High Life, whom I know absolutely nothing about, and I’m told that Cville’s own Rhythm Bandit is a last-minute addition to the bill, which I think is actually a pretty great match-up. Doors are at 8:00pm (I’m assuming a start time of 9ish [Dylan says 8:30]), and tickets are $12 advance / $14 at the door. See you there!

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5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 whatta // Mar 29, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    yes!

  • 2 Dylan // Mar 29, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    RHYTHM BANDIT goes on at 8:30!

  • 3 Zak // Mar 30, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    It’s Saint Dymphna…

  • 4 fourpaws // Mar 30, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    gang gang tore it up last night! i was really impressed with their live show…very energetic, and they know how to get deep down into a groove. i have not been moved to dance like that in quite awhile : )

  • 5 James // Mar 30, 2010 at 6:51 pm

    yeah, I was maybe 15% skeptical, which turned out to be unnecessary. Gang Gang Dance were fucking superb. perhaps the various elements of their sound were a little dance-ier, but the overall effect was pretty much equally successful. There were long moments where they would remain in a specific groove, and it starts to seem like they’ve hit some sort of glass ceiling — but THEN the whole band makes this really sudden and dramatic shift all at once and it’s pretty fucking mindblowing. They retained impressive focus, but the range of sub-styles they moved through was pretty impressive; for the first half-hour I kept thinking I was in a blurry, low-frame rate credits sequence from an early Wong-Kar Wai movie, until suddenly everything turned into the “island level” music for some sort of Tropical-theme Mario Bros game from the mid-90’s… and then they somehow ended up as an No Wave band doing “rave” music, which somehow also sounded great. It was pretty awesome.

    More than anything, they reminded me of Can… in fact, I was even trying to make a band-member-for-band-member analogy in my head at some point, and it ALMOST worked out (i.e., guy stage right who is secretly playing lead on everything = Irmin Schmidt, hidden drummer playing overly complex beats that always work perfectly = Jaki L, guitarist who does floaty ethereal stuff is maybe a little bit like Karoli? (except that he wasn’t a pretty-boy pseudo-frontman, and he kept somehow playing keyboard leads on the guitar, which was confusing, but also awesome, and not particularly Karoli-esque) and I guess the bass player didn’t really resemble Holger in any way. BUT the front-chick was totally on some sort of magical Suzuki-vibe (it must take an incredibly amount of professionalism and showmanship to channel the exact perfect vibe of being borderline-passed-out at all times; very impressive) and so I guess the weird asian guy in the back waving flags in front of the lights = the guys from Traffic? whatever, my analogy is 83% solid.) )

    speaking of said Bass Player, apparently he’s in the current line-up of White Magic (following that incident a few years ago in which Ms. Billotte apparently fired everyone else in the band…), so that was where I kept recognizing his voice from. his solo project was not so great, though; kind of a poor man’s panda bear, for the most part.

    Dylan was awesome, though. as soon as I heard his set I realized he was actually the exact perfect person to open for Gang Gang Dance. probably one of the better things I’ve heard him do recently… nice to see the Barbie guitar make an appearance as well (plus Gang Gang’s drummer accompanying him on the last track… fun stuff). Dylan’s songs, for the most part, are still in dire need of a “middle” and “end,” but whatever, that kid is starting off in a way better place than most of us do.

    managed to snag a 12″ of the first GGD album afterwards, which was nice. surprised to see so few folks show up for a world-class band, but I guess the rainy Monday after a busy weekend deterred a lot of folks. still, there was enough of a crowd by the final set that everyone had a pretty fun time. I was quite glad I caught it.