The Pink Hawks, BRMPPL, Married in Berdichev and Slight Harp Saturday, February 2 Rhinoceropolis
“We’ll be playing fort-building music tonight,” said Yuzo Nieto, the Pink Hawks keyboardist and saxophonist, before the band launched into a half-hour-long exploratory set. Every show the Hawks play is improvised, and Nieto not only likes to fill your ears with some intriguing ear candy, he’ll give you something to watch, sometimes incorporating painting or performance art into the band’s live shows. Saturday night’s performance art included Simone Groene-Sackett and (Westword intern) Adam Gildar, both clad in sleepwear, building a fort out of sheets, pillows and sofa cushions.
I’d completely forgot about building forts. I know I built a few as a kid, but hadn’t thought about the childhood process of architectural daydreaming again until Saturday night. I’m pretty sure I had some sheets that were nearly identical to ones they used. It was a bizarre juxtaposition of thinking about my childhood and then listening to Pink Hawks creating sound in a somewhat childlike way. It’s not that the music sounded childlike, it’s just that sometimes to fully immerse yourself in improvisation, it involves some childlike thinking, and not worrying about what you’re playing, or sometimes not even thinking about what you’re playing.
The two guys in BDRMPPL (pronounced “bedroom people”) seemed to have a similar kind of childlike approach as the Pink Hawks, but made completely different music. At times during their experimental electro set it seemed like they would riff on a theme, improvise around it, and then come back to the theme. One guy would go from his Omnichord to his laptop, and the bang out beats on his electronic drum machine, while the his partner kneeled in front of his suitcase filled with effects pedals, laying down samples and periodically singing. And without over-analyzing their music, let’s just say these dudes did some really cool shit.
Brittany Gould (aka Married in Berdichev) turned of the lights, and did most of her set in the dark, only partially illuminated by the string of lights that hung behind her. She kneeled down in front of loop, digital delay pedals and a mixer, creating vocal loops or playing pre-recorded loops and then singing over them. She began one song by recording herself blowing in an empty 40-ounce bottle (possibly Old English), and then used the loop to create a beautiful but haunting backdrop for her wispy vocals. –- Jon Solomon
Critic’s Notebook Personal Bias: Unfortunately I only caught a few minutes of Slight Harp’s set, but I dug what the trio was doing, especially the Theramin. Random Detail: Little Women, who were scheduled to play, had to cancel due to one of the band member’s tendonitis. By the Way: You can catch both BDRMPPL and Married in Berdichev on March 21 at Rhinoceropolis before they head out on tour together.