The wonderful people over at Impose have posted some of my photos of Zs record release show at The Knitting Factory. If you’d like to see them, you can click here. While you’re there, make sure to check out some of Impose’s other content; they really have some of the best musical taste out there.
Zs were awesome. Can I say that? Is that terrible music journalism? Because that’s what they were- straight up awesome. A saxophone, two guitars, and an unconventional percussionist is all it takes for Zs to whip up a fury of experimental rock. Plus, they do it while seated, which doesn’t sound that interesting, but was startlingly different when you see rock bands standing up and playing all the time. They were no less entertaining for it. You feel Zs’ music as they’re playing it. It makes your insides squirm and you can feel the swells of their music in the pit of your stomach. That’s why I’d recommend Zs to anyone looking to foray out of the realm of more mainstream indie rock for the first time. Their music is experimental, but very, very exciting. It’s not a bowl of strawberries, but it’s still pretty accessible, and wickedly smart. I’d never much listened to them before, but they can definitely now count me as a fan.
Add amazing guitarist, Mick Barr to that list, as well. His hands move impossibly fast, and with just one distortion pedal and two fingers, he creates a metallic whirlwind of sounds. I was very impressed and he’s cool to listen to, but I still wondered if there were any kids in say, suburban Michigan, who would come across this music recorded and think, “Oh man, I really feel this. I’m gonna listen to this ALL the time.” Is Mick Barr just an impressive guitar player, or is he making interesting music? I’m really not sure, but it’s definitely something to debate.
I went to the show because I wanted to see Excepter. I’ve been a big fan of their album Debt Dept and esoteric personas for a long time now. Somehow I’d never seen them before. I was sort of bummed out to find that their music live, or at least at this particular show, sounded really muddled and indistinguishable from itself, instead of depressingly fascinating as it sounds on record. The band just sort of doodled around onstage, looking a little bit lost at times. John Fell Ryan did start taking photos of the audience, but mostly just pressed some buttons while wearing sunglasses. I don’t mean to sound like Hipster Runoff here, but maybe it was “conceptual” and I didn’t “get” it. I understand that it’s cool because they’re making it up as they go along, but I think I’ll be sticking to listening to Excepter’s records from now on.