Tatsuya Nakatani at The Bridge, Mike Gangloff, Mss. & Magik Markers at the Tea House! (also, win tUnE-yArDs tix from PCA!)

May 8th, 2012 · No Comments · By

There’s two concerts this evening that I’m really excited about; it’s kind of unfortunate that they’re both happening on the same night, but I’ve checked with the organizers of each event and I think the start times are staggered enough that it’s going to be possible to see both, if you’re up for it. (But honestly, if any of what I describe below piques your interest, you owe it to yourself to come check some of these bands out; all of the performers here are great and I give them my highest Nailgun Media Official Endorsement®):

Tatsuya Nakatani is one of my favorite contemporary percussionists; he’s played Charlottesville twice before, but the dude is touring pretty much constantly, so I’m glad to see he’s made it back to town again, and I’m always eager to hear another one of his performances.  I know “experimental percussion” isn’t necessarily the phrase that makes most folks’ eyes light up, but seriously, you have to check this guy out.

The last time he played in town, he was setting up in the afternoon sound-checking his equipment, and a group of about 15-20 people just completely stopped what they were doing to listen and stare slack-jawed. I’ve seen this dude do things I didn’t even know were possible with a drum kit; playing gongs with a bow, playing cymbals like a trumpet mouthpiece, scraping things over snare heads to make solid tone; not only does he have a totally masterful command of his instruments, but he’s also really playful and fun to watch. There’s a sense of exploration and experimentation that’s really engaging, and his stuff is fairly inviting as well; it’s easy to appreciate even if you know next to nothing about drumming. I recommend this for (well, for everyone, but also) for fans of Han Bennink, although Nakatani’s performances are less “goofy,” and more epic. You can check out a write-up about him that I did over on the Feedback blog, which includes two videos of his last performance here. That’s at The Bridge PAI, and it starts at 8:00pm sharp! There’s a suggested donation of $7, but I’m sure they won’t turn you away if you only have less than that.

After that, starting at 10:00pm at the Tea Bazaar, there’s another really exciting show; there’s three bands on this bill, but all of them are really great in different ways, so I think the concert should make for a really interesting and worthwhile contrast:

Mike Gangloff was one of the members of Pelt, the legendary  group of the 90’s who mixed abstract noise-rock with eastern-influenced drone and roots Americana; it sounds like a strange mix, but they were pretty excellent. Not only that, but Pelt spawned any number of side-projects and solo careers, including bluegrass group The Black Twig Pickers, raga drone-ensemble the Spiral Joy Band, and the solo career of the late, great Jack Rose. They’ve been sort of dormant lately as the band members have gone their separate ways (Mike Dimmick moved to the Pacific Northwest and took the Spiral Joy Band name with him; Nathan Bowles is now playing with Kohoutek; Black Twigs still release a record occasionally; Jack Rose sadly passed away in December of 2009), so I’m excited to hear Mike play here in town again. No idea if he’ll be doing LaMonte Young-style drone or washboard-and-fiddle ditties, but either one is OK with me.

Mss. are folks we’ve written about a fair amount recently; they’re one of the best acts in town and I’ve really been enjoying the CD they put out a few weeks ago. Tyler is a really phenomenal songwriter, incorporating an interest in early and obscure branches of Christianity, a knack for strange metaphors and magical realism, and a healthy amount of cerebral sarcasm, filtered through a low-fi 90’s art-rock aesthetic. And it’s been really fun to hear the full ensemble of the live band really flesh things out; they sound great playing together (this will only be their third performance as a group in the past year and half, I think).

Magik Markers are a group I’ve actually never seen, although I’ve met Elisa a few times, and enjoyed her performances in Six Organs of Admittance and 200 Years. Magik Markers is her more raw, aggressive noise-rock band, based out of Northampton MAss, around since the early 00’s (though they’ve recently been dormant; I think this tour is a reunion of sorts). They’ve put out releases on reliably excellent labels like Ecstatic Peace, Hospital Productions, Not Not Fun, and Drag City, and I still hear plenty of folks in town talk about their mind-blowing show at DUST back in 2006. To give you an idea, check out this vintage live clip, in which Elisa discusses “the politics of wankery” and answers the immortal question “but what if you played guitar the way a girl jerks off?” :

That show is, as I said, starting around 10pm, and the cover charge there is $7.

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Coming up tomorrow, some of you will be very interested in the giveaway prizes for tomorrow’s Art Drinks; y’all know Art Drinks, yes? the Piedmont Council for the Arts holds a monthly get-t0gether in a rotating series of restaurants (tomorrow’s is at Maya), in which they have drinks, talk about art, and do a raffle prize for a number of art items every month. They’re always fun to go to (who doesn’t like art and drinking?), but tomorrow’s prizes include not only a chance to win a Patrick Costello Print, tickets to PCA’s annual fundraiser, and tickets to this weekends’ Horse Feathers show, but also a pair of tickets to see tUnE-yArDs at the Jefferson on June 5th. I’m fairly certain that show is gonna sell out, so it’d be wise to have a pair of tickets for it in hand now (or, you might win a Patrick Costello print instead, you know?)  That’s at Maya from 6:30 to 8:30 tomorrow.

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