Concert Reviews

Bocumast Records takes over Lost Lake with mixed results

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WEEK ONE | 08.05.10

Astrophagus • Wire Faces • Bottesini Project

To kick off the month-long festivities, Bocumast decided to go with its main project, Astrophagus. It had been a while since I'd actually seen the band play -- so long, in fact, that I was confused by the fact that there was no drummer. The outfit's sound is in the process of changing dramatically -- switching between the pop-friendly riffs of the old days and a new, jammier electronic set.

It was interesting to see a band in the midst of change, something you're not generally privy to. The members' freeness was still hindered by their pop sensibility, though, often droning into a poppier son, then fading out again. Astrophagus is on the verge of becoming something interesting, but still a bit lost.

The members of Bottesini Project were their usual unpredictable selves -- but when I saw that Doug Anderson was playing with them, I was hoping to see some accordion action. Unfortunately -- for me and probably only me -- he was playing stand-up bass, which still sounded great. The Project's free-jazz/rock fusion/experimental/whatever was a perfect fit for Lost Lake on a Thursday night.

In between the main Bocumast bands, a few travelling bands got slotted into the show. I never actually caught their names, due to the fact they were screaming-loud hardcore acts that didn't state their band names at any point -- that I could understand, anyway.

The hardcore drove me out, causing me to miss Wire Faces playing a remarkably late set.

WEEK TWO | 08.12.10

Nightshark • Hollagramz • Vairbur

I got to Lost Lake a little late in the night for this one, catching the tail end of Vairbur, Jason Cain's new side project. It's a bit weird that a guy in a band (Astrophagus) has a solo project (Jason Cain) and a side project, but who am I to judge? Vairbur is, for lack of a better word, an experiment. Jason's vocals are still present, but muddled between layers of sound. It's not noise, but it's close. If anyone remembers Bird Show, an old Kranky band, you'll get the gist of what Cain was up to here.

Hollagramz played next, which was rather confusing, because the music of Hollagramz was indistinguishable from what was being played between bands. Not that it was a bad thing; it just took me a minute to realize someone was actually playing. The retro-future vibe that Hollagramz lays down is great beer-drinking, dance-party-popping tuneage, but it felt a little out of place at Lost Lake. It's great that Bocumast kept things varied, but at the same time, it consistently felt like we were all in the wrong place at the wrong time -- like Hollagramz should have been playing somewhere else besides within the wood-paneled walls of Lost Lake.

At this point, it was revealed that Andrew Lindstrom, Nightshark's drummer and principal gear carrier, had locked his keys in his car. There was some heckling from the crowds outside, some groaning and a bit of cursing. I stuck around for a while, hoping the situation would be resolved, but it didn't seem likely. After I took off and settled in back at home, I was notified that the members of Nightshark had indeed retrieved their gear and would indeed play -- but I couldn't bring myself to get back out there.

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Thorin Klosowski
Contact: Thorin Klosowski