After a late night extended by BUILT TO SPILL’s endless noodling (if you missed it, read day 1’s recount here), day two of ATP had a ton of music, which I mostly spent darting to and fro the two rooms. I’ll toss out my impressions in capsule form:
Somewhat interesting take on electronics fused to guitar rock, in a duo format. STUART BRAITHWAITE from MOGWAI was right on the rail, digging their set immensely.
Blazingly hot set…the kind of dirty ass rock and roll that’s been done to death, but when it’s done this well, you realize we need more. A highlight for sure. Relative newcomer on guitar DAN LUSCOMBE fit in just fine.
San Fran’s 60’s psych scene breathes and shambles across the land again. Good grooves, nice JACK CASADY lookalike on bass, right down to the Gibson body. I should have asked singer RIPLEY JOHNSON the reasoning behind the intentional typo in the band name, but we were too busy readying to rock out to DINOSAUR JR.
Legendary Krautrock trio spills out a soothing, intricate mix of guitar and knob-twiddling. German scientists would be proud. Definitely a lot of people taking in this set in a very cerebral manner (ie, lying on their backs in the pitch-black room), as opposed to the physicality of some of the other acts.
EDAN with DAGHA
I’m from Boston, and I had no idea about this hip-hop duo (who have since moved on to London, at least for Edan). Pretty fun stuff, jerky electronics and a nerdy sense of humor along with lightning quick phrasing. The quizzical looks Edan gave while adjusting the electronics were pretty comical, like he had no idea what he was doing.
This was the first time I’ve seen ex-*SLEEP* and current Om mastermind AL CISNEROS with new drummer EMIL AMOS of GRAILS. The throbbing diseased core of Sabbath held aloft for hours in a mantra which sucks all into its vortex. Mesmerizing.
Math rockers reunite, rewrite their songbook, and also add new material. Amazingly strong rhythm section. ASH BOWIE and DAVE BRYLAWSKI’s guitars perform heroics as usual. A lot of overlap from their earlier Cambridge show, and unfortunately they didn’t take my suggestion to work “Vibracobra” into the setlist.
LES SAVY FAV
Rotund, bearded extrovert TIM HARRINGTON is a performance artist fronting a rock band who likes to groove. Masks, shin guards, Frankenstein bolts, Reese peanut butter cups, over-the-top use of a cordless mic, a ten foot ladder (carried by the crowd a la a Jewish wedding, instead of the chair)...frenetic energy, easily the act which whipped up the crowd the most. The set ended with the stage flooded with people.
When STEVE ALBINI wasn’t busy manning one of the poker tables, he was on stage with BOB WESTON and TODD TRAINER (who is apparently the poor woman’s TOMMY LEE, as was revealed by Steve during the Q and A session with the audience). The cha-ching of the metallic Travis Bean guitar and bass set up the familiar skree/roar to Todd’s awesome drum skills (and equally awesome facial expressions). I love this band’s no bullshit approach. Stage lights up high, three guys across and right up front, ready steady rock your ass off. There is no sleight of hand or hidden agendas here. During “Wingwalker” an enterprising soul scaled his way to the top of the PA stack for a better viewing perch, before security coaxed him down. Probably the best set of the day.
From the relative safety of the soundboard deck, I watched the pummeling of LIGHTNING BOLT who set up stage left on the floor. No photos as I was too lazy/tired to trek back to the car to get my flash. These guys are best taken in small doses; the ~45 minute set was about 30 minutes too long. RUINS they ain’t.