Friday, June 12, 2009
**Northside Fest** Ducktails at Cameo Gallery 6-11-09
I saw the first Northside fest show tonight after picking up the 7inches press pass and headed across the street to catch Ducktails at a space I've never even heard of . In the back of what used to be Anytime, down a hallway is a black box called Cameo Gallery...
I think it's pretty amazing that Williamsburg alone can throw a sxsw-type show celebrating itself. Not that it doesn't happen in some form weekly at any number of alternative spaces but it says something to put it all together under one banner....to give these bands and venues recognition. Let's take a minute to realize there's something pretty amazing happening here. A crazy concentration.....a music vortex that makes specifically this part of Brooklyn really exciting...it's thanks to the bands and these venues that are a part of this thing.
I don't know about CBGB's or the village...those scenes that get romanticized, that you hear stories about the good old days of music, how it couldn't be duplicated....the documentaries...I think you have to realize right now there is something here in Williamsburg...it's not going to be around for ever. I'm just starting to appreciate that. Don't take it for granted!
There's a long history by now of bands/projects existing of people crouched on the floor playing with two hundred effects pedals. I think what makes Ducktails different is the manipulation that's going on in a more human way than say....standing at a laptop, or a sequencer or something. He's using some pretty primitive devices by any standard....the basic delay pedals , most replaceable keyboard... the cheapest mixer...it's inspiring and then crushing because you realize there is no way you could do that.
Lawrence Lessig says we're moving into an age of the remix...not just tied to music anymore, he's talking about remixing across mediums. It's all over youtube...people engaging culture by reediting video, responding to each others videos...we aren't passively consuming entertainment anymore. It just all tied in while watching Matt Mondanile have this sort of interaction...this spontaneous conversation with himself. He has a clear idea of where he's going to end up but the performance side of this is listening to how exactly he's going to get there. It's essentially button pushing and dial turning but that he's remixing himself. Taking his own material and manipulating it. All of this in his own specific world music slant. He plays a piano melody from a cheap keyboard into loops...it's clear the notes themselves don't matter, he's stumbling across the keys, but they are working into layers...if it isn't right it fades away, or that piece gets captured and looped further.
It's a process that's been changed by Ducktails, having been completely ruined by terrible DJ's or just audience scaring noise bands. To completely change the context he reached over by the end of the set and grabbed a guitar to solo on top of the looped tropical haze... the layers of indecipherable rhythm or reference.
Between Ducktails and Real Estate Matt is playing nearly every night in or outside of Northside Fest...but Ducktails is different because you aren't seeing the replication of a song your watching an imperfect permutation of a conversation...a really good one.
The only problem with this is that it might devalue the recorded full length for sale at the end of the stage. It's about an ever changing conversation, so the one that gets documented isn't that important in the end...it's different every time.
Go listen. (24Mb)