Oct 06 2008

Mount Eerie/Lucky Dragons/Pikelet (Live!)

Published by at 6:06 pm under Alternative,Folk,MP3's

I went to church last night, and baby, I’m a new man.

No, but really. I saw Pikelet, Lucky Dragons and Mount Eerie in a church. In Australia. Did I mention they played in a church? Like, the holy kind? Well, I’m not much of a church goer myself, but this was damn near the closest I’ve come, and might ever come, to experiencing god. (Blasphemy?)

Pikelet opened, accompanied by a friend playing bass, clarinet, and anything else Evelyn (Pikelet’s secret identity!) could not manage with her hands and feet. (And I say hands and feet because, while playing whatever instrument she has on her lap, she is often twisting knobs and manipulating her delay pedals with her feet). There was something vaguely transcendent about her last performance (as previously mentioned), a sound hovering at the periphery hinting toward the divine. At a church, with her voice echoing from the vaulted ceilings, bathed more in an arrangement of shadows than any one light, Pikelet proved angelic, ascending over legions of synthesized harpsichords, floating above a tumultuous sea of her own creation. Check my previous post on her here.

Lucky Dragons (of LA) set up in the middle of the crowd with an odd assortment of objects, proving that most anything can be an instrument. Their show is magic, and relied on complete audience immersion. To describe what happen would take pages. And an understanding of mystical arts that, from what I can tell, transcend human thought. Their instruments used people as conductors, the magnetic attraction of human touch to create sound. They built more of an aesthetic than a specific sound, letting the random bleeps from the audience fill the canvas offered by their back beats. Sound trippy? It was. As it ended, as we put down the various cables and rocks that were handed us, we began to look around, bewildered. (And I use “we” freely, because, at this point, there may have been a collective consciousness). No clapping. No noise. Was it over? Had it passed? Was I still the same person? The only answer was their closing “song,” a freaked out electric groove to which we danced and flailed and screamed. It ended. We sat down. “Thank you,” they said. “We’re MGMT.” Laughs. For some pictures, check here for a website run by a very nice Aussie named Ro, who was also at the show.

Bashful and visibly humbled by the rapt attention of a church-full of cross-legged attendees, Phil Elverum took his seat under lighting that seeped from the walls, borrowing Pikelet’s guitar and addressing the audience in a timid voice bordering a whisper: “Hi, my name is Phil. Mount Eerie is my music-band project…ok, I’ll play a song.” Later, as he rambles through his stream of consciousness banter, we find that he is jet-lagged and nearly delirious with fatigue. The perfect time to catch an artist, no inhibitions.

Elverum approached his songs like a confessional, allowing the absence of accompaniment to highlight his lyrics, glancing over chords and subtle arpeggios as he delivered his musings. Hearing a musician’s interpretation of his own songs is always a trip, and hearing Elverum play Mount Eerie songs stripped of their cataclysmic distortion was profound, a reinforcement of their power and a testament to his songwriting.

He ran through a handful of old and new songs until asking if the audience had any questions. There was silence. Should we, dare we, ask? As he prepared his next song, one brave soul stepped forward: “There’s no chance you’ll play the Glow Pt. II,” he somewhat dejectedly states, rather than asks. After more banter, leaving us with little hope of hearing the golden songs, Phil responds: “Well, I feel you’re the customer, and it’s my job to make sure you’re satisfied…it’s not like I enjoy playing music or anything.” He smirks.

Smiles stole across the faces of those around me as the deep melancholy of “I Want Wind To Blow” hit, the opening notes both devastating and uplifting. Hearing those two songs, I was happier than I’ve been in a long time. And the rest of his set, the way he builds songs to a crescendo, drops them without warning, and continues into the next, had me in a constant state of flux. But alas, all good things must come to an end. Unfortunately.

Check this post Nyman did on Mount Eerie.

Phil on The Microphones and Mount Eerie, from the mid-show Q&A: “They’re different names for different projects that…well they do the exact same thing.”



The Microphones

I Want Wind To Blow

I don’t have any Lucky Dragons, but check this video. They had this playing on the ceiling.

YouTube Preview Image

|Mount Eerie|Lucky Dragons|Pikelet|

3 responses so far

3 Responses to “Mount Eerie/Lucky Dragons/Pikelet (Live!)”

  1. Martaon 07 Oct 2008 at 3:22 am

    What would you say about that:



  2. Nickon 08 Oct 2008 at 8:22 pm

    amazing! is that first picture iron and wine?

  3. Martaon 09 Oct 2008 at 10:40 am

    Yes, I missed that gig what makes me terribly unhappy. But I have legal bootleg. Want some?

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