Pwrfl PowerRamona Cordova. Unfortunately, it was miss, not hit. I’ve only heard raves, so this was an off night due mainly to touring tragedies and mishaps. The mood didn’t strike him, as the audience tried to show him, love. He just wasn’t feeling it. I guess it is hard playing in the dark and being exhausted. Bad shit happens to musicians on the road. His truck broke down with all his belongings in another state, lost his cell phone that day, and the list goes on……… Although I had the pleasure of meeting and talking to Ramon, I would have loved to see him at his best. Hope things get better, I love his music. The weather was beautiful, and a warm breeze filled the night air. The scenic view of Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge was breathtaking. The opening was The Spookfish, a one-man composer who creates moodscapes with beats on Casio and laptop. Listening to the sound on the rooftop was ideal. Ending the set with “Reef Gecko,” he composed on a plane ride from Florida the night before. Nice… Pwful Power (Kaz Nomura) was the delightful surprise of the evening. He just recently moved to Brooklyn from Seattle. He stood with electric guitar and began each song with a story or one-line setup. I laughed throughout the whole set. In one song, he started by pointing directly to a group of people in the crowd saying, “I like your jacket.” Everyone then turned from side to side, looking for a jacket on a warm night. How could he see us it was dark? Then the song began. You got a nice jacket / the best jacket in my town / can I have it for my birthday/. Another selection is “Let Me Teach You How To Hold Chopsticks.” / Your so pretty and holding them wrong / My dad used to beat me up because I was holding them wrong / and I don’t want to beat you up / because your so pretty / your so pretty / but your holding them wrong /. His amusing phrases have layers of irreverent philosophical humor that you can fully appreciate. Part of the charm is his childlike delivery. He’s a hoot but more. He is a dynamic musician with cool guitar moves blending classical fused with jazz, extreme abandon of abstracted scales, with scattered dissonant chord arrangements. Bought his CD and a homemade sponge for three bucks that his Grandmother made. So charmingly sweet! Francois Virot, like Ramon, was also suffering from tour exhaustion and illness but gave it his best shot. It was a rather disorganized, scattered set. His voice was about to go at any minute. So his usual coughs, grunts, and frenetic vocal styling were heard in all its glory but with a more hoarse and strained quality. I bought a tape of Yes or No, but can’t find a tape player that works. The recordings sound soooo good. Have to wait for the release. Say Fiesta MP3 Francois Virot
I am looking forward to seeing two favorites, Ramona Cordova and Francois Virot in New York on July 1, 2008 Venue TBA........ repost of bulletin below...... REST IN PEACE FRIDO -- 21 JUNE 2008 Frido Korea, bless his little heart, passed away the other night before the Madison show. yes, the truck is dead. I'll be continuing the tour by public bus and some help from friends... François is not going to make it for the Canada shows, Burlington Vermont, or Biddeford Maine. He might meet up in Albany to continue the tour through the end, or it might just end up that he plays Cambridge, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York as his last four dates. let see! See and hear how awesome they are!!
I started Obsession Collection one year ago in June. Having spent the last couple of years seeing live music and devouring recordings that blew my mind, I thought that maybe others would like to hear what I was getting so excited about.
The last week in June, a Garage Show, reaffirmed what I always believed: there is nothing better than hearing great music performed live. Sometimes it does matter where you see it.
This particular garage show was outstanding because of the line-up selection, order and timing of the sets, and the wonderful crowd of friends and fans, getting together to enjoy music.
First was a punk girl group Vivian Girls a three-piece from NYC playing guitar, bass, and drums. They played a short, sweet four-song set. They are fairly new and enjoyable, performing catchy punk with nice drumming.
The crowd decided to sit on the concrete floor to fully appreciate the acoustic set by Francois Virot, an expressive lo-fi alternative folk singer-songwriter from France. His vocals were unplugged. The mic was situated under the guitar to pick up his beating, strumming, picking, and right-hand hammering (Kaki King style) up the fret.
Francois sings and records only in English. His distinctive voice patterns and range convey a variety of emotional levels. His vocals are shaky and muffled, as if he is holding something back. Suddenly he grunts, and his distant voice rises and squeaks with intense and chaotic abandon. His folksy eccentricities are creatively accompanied by his irregular guitar patterns. He is very original and captivating. The audience was absorbed by his intimate presentation.
I was surprised when the next band, Clara from France, came on with Francois Virot in the drummer's seat. This band has an intense sound using the keyboard (Amielie Lambert) as the melodic digital force, chaotic /psychotic drums, and frenetic electric bass (Charles Virot), relying heavily on distortion. Clara Clara plays hypnotic jams with occasional moments of sing-along type phrasing. The sound is explosive, erupting with rhythms and very loud distortion. The crowd moved in a trance-like motion of ecstasy until the last song, leaving a sweaty, musty residue in the garage cocoon to get some oxygen.
The air being a necessity, was a lost cause when Kickball, a band from Olympia, Washington, came on. They are an infectious trio of guitar, bass, and drums. The band has the perfect mix of lush solid indie pop, catchy sing-along punk, and dance-propelled grooves.
The lead singer and guitarist, Jacob Wilson, has a distinct voice with a very appealing range. He vocalizes like a Cantor in a clear high pitch and sings every syllable in broken phrasing patterns like; Ev/ er/ y / things / a / mir / a / cal. He stutters to find a word and then holds it for effect. With the guitar, he creates memorable intricacies that ebb and flow between Adam Oelsner's creative bass line. Lisa Schonberg, the drummer, plays expressive energetic percussion and is a charismatic force in the band, communicating with her bandmates.
The crowd of ravenous fans loved and craved the old favorites and embraced the newer, recently released songs. Their bodies were in constant motion, sweating profusely, singing along, and displaying admiration and love for Kickball. The band was at a point of exhaustion, but the audience finagled two more songs. They obliged with enthusiasm. Kickball has energy and awesome chemistry. Seriously no one wanted this show to end.
This was a great night. There were no annoying drunk patrons, just music fans, as they should be.
"everything is a miracle nothing is a miracle everything is" buy on Kickball myspace site
|Kickball / Clara Clara / Francois Virot / Garage Show
Francois Virot filmed by LaBlogoteheque
Francois Virot filmed by Big Purple Van Club
Clara Clara Live Berlin