MAGIK MARKERS/MONOTRACT/MOUTHUS/PANOPTICON EYELIDS at the Hook, 8/5/2006

My ridiculously over-booked social schedule (no, really!) has me running all over town, and at no time was that more evident than last weekend, when I managed to make it from the Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center (to see “Not a Photograph: The Mission of Burma Story”) at 6, up to Harlem to walk my friends’ dog by 8, and then out to Red Hook to catch this show. Thankfully, a car was involved, otherwise that’d be way too long on the subway.

Montreal noise-rock quartet Panopticon Eyelids kicked off the show, and unfortunately I don’t have any crappy cellphone camera shots of them. But they were quite the debonair Quebec’ers, singing such things as “AARON’S BALLS!” really really loudly. Really good in a AmRep-meets-now style. Mouthus followed, and in their inimitable way, they smoked. I have to admit, despite loving them a ton (and thinking they’re swell guys to boot), they can sometimes not deliver live. This was not an issue Saturday, and might’ve been one of the better Mouthus shows I’ve seen – though not as good as the show I did with them at the Palace that like nobody came to.

I first saw Monotract way back when in Chicago when they were on tour with Russ Waterhouse and a very young Joel St. Germain, and they’ve definitely changed a bit since then, adding more electronics to their sound. Honestly, I wasn’t too into them before, but Saturday’s show really brought out the best, even though they had some technical equipment issues. Their new album, XPRMNTL LVRS (I’ll be reviewing this soon for City Paper), has some strangely weird pop moments on it, and I think I like that side of the ‘Tract more and more.

Magik Markers are, in a word, unfuckwithable (if that’s a word).

Seriously I cannot think of another group of people who manage to walk into any live situation and just completely own it in the way they do. Not in the “fantastic performer” sense, because yeah I guess “anyone” can do this (which is the complaint of the common dumbass – no your five year-old can’t paint better than Picasso, either), but there’s something about their mind-melding musical ways that just transcends the “noise” thing. Pete and Elisa are just amazing, no matter who they play with (this time it was with Greg Weeks Steve Gunn, I think – I’m not up on my noisicians much any more), and this show was no exception.

And on one last note: props to Tony Rettman for playin’ fruity tunes!

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