Monday re-cap: The new wave of dark wave


I have this friend from way back who was into what he called “dark wave.” That is: music “in between experimental, synth, new age, goth, industrial, dance and noise.” I never really felt comfortable with that term until I hosted Psychic Handbook, Top Hat Entertainment (Kyle Mabson and Rand “DJ Marajuana Weed” Sevilla), Syndrome WPW and Back To The Future The Ride this past Monday.

Suddenly that “in between” musical description seemed right on the money, as this cutting-edge crew of performers was musically inscrutable and unashamedly hybridized (in more ways than one hehe).

Back To The Future The Ride was Foot Village’s Brian Miller, aka Charlemagne Lazarus. He played this nifty micro-sized photocell guitar that was no toy. Miller coaxed some amazing textures out of the device. It was “aggressive ambience.” What started as sparkly Cocteau Twinsian background noise blossomed into a psychedelic roar by the set’s close. All the hairs on my arm were standing on end so I’m gonna say, yes, that was good!

Syndrome WPW, aka Serge Teuscher, was my house guest from Switzerland this past week. I really enjoyed his company. That said, I am a musical purist and sometimes pleasant people make terrible music. I am happy to report that this was not true in Serge’s case! When he steps onstage as Syndrome WPW, Teuscher leaves his nice-guy persona behind and transforms into a shirt-ripping wild man on the synthesizer. I published this Syndrome WPW interview late on Monday, so many of you may have missed it. But I hope you will go back and read/listen to/watch what he has to say because this guy kinda came out of nowhere to be one of my favorite performers of the year so far. Nice job, dude!

DJ Marijuana Weed did not end up flying back to Chicago after last Monday’s show (though he has since departed…sniff). Apparently, Weed had such a great time he decided to return for more Monday debauchery. Here he is on the left with Kyle Mabson introducing the only performer to complete a year-long Monday residency…

Cock Block! Yes, this may look like Whitman (uh, it is), but when this young man straps on his air guitar he is a stadium rock god on par with Jimmy Page or Steve Vai…if only for a moment.

Psychic Handbook is just rad, rad, rad. I love his percolating, interwoven music. He uses all the same electronic tools 90% of the underground has. I don’t know how he does it, but he turns these pedestrian devices into nuanced soundmakers. I wish I could compare him to something (Eno & Harmonia?) but I keep coming up empty handed…and I think that’s a very promising sign. Let’s hear it for truly new music!

Top Hat Entertainment was searingly hot on the dancefloor. Amazing, considering the ad hoc nature of their performance. I think this sound—techno with insane screaming and too many samples—has huge potential. It kinda reminded me of a rave at the drunk tank (ya know, in the city  jail) with a hint of Vegas casino (all those bells and whistles goin’ off)…Another rad effort from Rand and Kyle. Thanks, guys.

And thank all of you for attending the show! this is always a hard time of years, what with school finals and all. I really appreciate your support, and I hope you will come out again this Monday.

See the complete photos here

And don’t miss this week’s show…

Monday, May 24th

Sean Carnage and Peter’s Pool Boys present…

Essay
I.E.
Voice on Tape
Whisky Dick (members of Whitman and XBXRX…involves poetry and upright bass)
Bongo Fury

+ DJ Vegan Share The Road

Starts 9:30pm / $5 / all-ages

Pehrspace—325 Glendale Blvd., in Historic Filipinotown

RSVP here

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