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this is in response to pelao's question (see comments section from the review of 'racket' below) about which shows i've really enjoyed. here's a rough 'top 3':

#3- legendary pink dots, montreal, foufounes electriques, october 1995- first show i went to see that i really, really wanted to (where i didn't know the band personally). one of the most thrilling moments for me was at the very beginning, actually hearing edward kaspel's wonderfully cartoonish voice coming out of a human being.

#2- merzbow, toronto, the kathedral, september 2002- i was a little concerned this one would be a disappointment, but far from it. almost two solid hours of gut-shaking, teeth-rattling noise. perhaps the most memorable part was that it was beyond hot in the crowded room ad the combination of heat and sound caused a couple of people to pass out.

#1- current 93- toronto, the music gallery, june 2004- awe-inspiring chiefly because it did justice both to the power and the fragility of their music. they played almost every single thing i would have had them play, including a breathtaking version of 'they return to their earth', which was the high point of the performance for me. their music has always had a great emotional impact on me and more than once, i teared up during the night.


David said…
That Pink Dots show was the best show ever.

It's Number One for me.

Number Two is the Stereolab show we were at in Halifax - that crazy-ass long, noisy version of "Jenny Ondioline" (I think it recall it being close to 45minutes) was just great. I also like the fact that there were maybe 75 people...

Number Three is easily anything done by Wolf Blitzer's Gasmask. It was hypnotic to listen to them play, and they all just got into it, and you could see and feel the energy given off.
flora_mundi said…
well, i'm going to have to thank you for reminding me of a couple of other great live moments... :-)
Geoffrey said…
I get lost in my own work... but today I ventured out and played live, a park, slow summer festival of Make Music NY... mixed acoustic guitar and voice with aprepeggiated keyboard washes, drones, percussion sequences... other people's gigs you ask? Salif Keita did it for real in Harlem last year.
James H. said…
Amazing that anyone even remembers Wolf Blitzer's Gas Mask! Now, if only people remembered Horn of Plenti (at least for that one really good Birdland gig)
David said…
"Horn of Plenti"

I remember them, but not any shows.
flora_mundi said…
i can remember a couple of shows... an excellent one at birdland, which was psychedelic enough to make haight ashbury look straight-laced, and another in the park. ah, memories...
n.w.long said…
Electric Ascencion
w/otomo yoshihide, ikue mori, nels cline and others
Easter 2005, SF

Franciso Lopez
san francisco 2001

Pan Sonic
san francisco 2002

Pearl Jam
opening for Red hot chili peppers
Normal, IL

Stevie Ray Vaughn
troy, wisconsin 1989
pelao said…
great list, i am particularly jealous of your current 93 experience...i have missed them out twice in the past three years, will my time ever come?
off the top of my head, three shows i have enjoyed most....SWANS, london 1997,CRAMPS, london 1998, DIAMANDA, vitoria 2007.
Let's see...
Einsturzende Neubauten, at the Spectrum in '95 I think is my number 1. Tightest show I've ever seen.
I'd say that the first two Angels of Light shows I've seen were great. That was before the Akkron Family debacle. To this day, I still wonder what Michael was thinking.
The best crowd pleaser was Clan of Ximox at Foufounes Electriques (the week after that horrid Christian Death show) They played every song you'd think they should play, they looked like they actually wanted to be there and they wanted to play some more. Unfortunately, the management at that club sucks.
For pure raw energy, I'd say the Project Hat/Slogun/Brighter Death Now show in Chicago. What was surprising (especially for Slogun) was how soft the Chicago crowd had gotten (yes, it took 10 minutes before the Wax Trax crowd reacted, and thats because I reacted, after he went after my girlfriend at the time. And I got hit in the head with a beer bottle. Oh, the memories!)

as long as you're here, why not read more?

mental health mondays :: where even the depressed ones are happy

this past week saw the publication of the annual world happiness report, a look at nations around the world and how people in each of them feel about their lot in life. i started following this a few years ago, and this year it occurred to me that it would be fun to look at how the happy places compared to the crazy places. i mean, what if those countries aren't really all that happy, but just have an extremely high rate of psychotic/ delusional disorders?

so, i set to work putting together a comparison. as it happens, that's a bit trickier than it sounds, because information on any kind of disability is more difficult to come by than you might think. and no type of disability is more controversial than a mental illness, which means that there are even more complications around definitions, seeking treatment, prognoses, record-keeping... it's hard to tell how reliable anything you're looking at is. [not that there aren't some good sources.]

and what sources there …


i keep seeing this ad for tictac candies:

am i the only one who finds the suicide bomber clown at the end a little unnerving? all the nice natural things like the bunny and the [extinct] woolly mammoth and the fruit get devoured by a trying-to-appear-nonthreatening-but-obviously-psychotic clown who then blows himself up. congratulations, tictac, i think this ad has landed you on about a dozen watch lists.

oh and by the way, showing me that your product will somehow cause my stomach to explode in a rainbow of wtf makes me believe that doing consuming tictacs would be a worse dietary decision than the time i ate two raw eggs and a half a bottle of hot sauce on a dare.

making faces :: a lip for all seasons [summer edition]

this may seem like an odd time to think about summer, but not to think about coolness. it can be hard to wrap your head around the idea that summer is considered "cool" in colour analysis terms and, in my opinion, reads as the coolest of the cool, because everything in it is touched with the same chilly grey. winter may have the coldest colours, but its palette is so vivid that it distracts the eye. everything in summer is fresh and misty, like the morning sky before the sun breaks through. in my original post on the season, i compared it to monet's paintings of waterlilies at his garden in giverny and, if i do say so, i think that's an apt characterisation.

finding lip colours touched with summer grey and blue is, as you might expect, kind of tricky. the cosmetic world seems obsessed with bringing warmth, which doesn't recognise that some complexions don't support it well. [also, different complexions support different kinds of warmth, but that's another…