Saturday, May 31, 2008

Drone Rock Spaces-Out Hipsters

I caught the Black Angels' CD release party at Emo's last night. The doors opened at 8pm but the Black Angels didn't go 'till around midnight. Whenever you read about the Black Angels you always see the words psych-rock and I think they must embrace that idea. Their merchandise was very trippy, without being tie-died. They even had a 3-D poster dude.

As far as the music itself I would say that it was the drone of psychedelic music more than the agitated freak-out part. As soon as the band took stage and the 16mm films from the 60's began projecting on the stage behind them I knew I was going to get what I came for. All of the sounds coming from the stage were drowned in reverb/echo. The driving bass parts were matched up with pulsing floor toms beats. And lead singer Alex was holding court with his eery sing-speak vocals, and maracas. Think The Black Angels Death Song by the Velvet Underground.

The crowd in the armpit at front stage seemed transfixed, some of them had obviously altered their consciouses to "enhance" the Black Angels sound. They were nodding and swaying, lots of people with eyes-closed. Personally I could only stand in that section of the audience for about 3 songs. It was probably 1000 degrees or so, with drunk people dropping beer bottles, stoners passing blunts (with very nice filters), and smokers lighting cigarettes off one another.

All in all I'd say I was certainly not disappointed by the Black Angels live show. I would say it was like going to a post-9/11 acid test. A less optimistic sounding psychedelia, than the one our parents knew. This age of acid freak out is more about escaping reality than enhancing it.

It was really hard to snap good photos due to the fact that I don't have a digital SLR camera, and the whole two films being projected on the band +/- stage lighting. But you can see the 4 mildly viewable ones I took here.