Live

by Metal Rouge

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about

Released as a CDR on Tim Coster's Melbourne-based Fictitious Sighs label in an edition of I-don't-know-what. Almost every release on Fictitious Sighs was entitled either 'Demo' or 'Live'. I think Tim originally asked us for demos, but since we don't record 'demos' of anything we gave him a live disc instead.

This was recorded on our quite frankly bizarre tour of the Southwest. There were a bunch of notable events on this tour, and if you even halfway know us I'm sure you've been told about us getting the plug pulled on us in Lubbock, TX. Only four shows are represented here - Houston only barely via a one minute clip that presents the final minute (and climax of) our show there. After the show I was surrounded by a group of people that seem to have come to the show solely to ask me about the how New Zealand immigration policy works and to inform me about the existence of various New Zealanders that they had met at various times. The following morning we were looking for a place to eat and stopped in a cafe only to realize it was a Lord Of The Rings themed joint beaming images of New Zealand as middle earth from multiple screens.

It was summer and Texas was a sweltering swamp. In Austin we played with the astounding dual-drummer line-up of the Plutonium Farmers. They played Andrew Hill songs at such a chaotic pace it sounded like Harry Pussy. Completely insane. I remember us being under spot lighting on stage and the whole performance being very tense. We spent the night drinking at Christina Carter's place, me complaining about the limitations of guitar, Christina telling me that guitar is limitless. Christina tends to be right.

In San Antonio (a city seemingly abandoned after 4pm) we played a house show to a bunch of stoked punkish kids. The endless interrogation about/fascination with me being from New Zealand continued hence you can hear us introduce ourselves as Flight of the Conchords at the start of the piece. We stayed with Husere Grav, who seemed to own nothing but a couch and signed Texas Chainsaw Massacre memorabilia. His set was punishingly strange, black-metal hisses used to modulate a guitar. Every time he opened his mouth near the mic beat frequencies would pour out of his massive 6-foot stack, but not a single vocal sound could be heard....

Tempe was perhaps the strangest show of the lot (as all shows in Arizona tend to be?), none of the audience or local bands talking to each other and everyone running outside to sit in the rain during a 2 minute mini-shower. It was the last show of the tour and by that stage the pieces were extremely malleable. I don't think we even noticed the audience any more.

We presented multiple versions of the same pieces on this disc because we've always approached our pieces as if they're jazz standards - there are theoretically infinite ways to present the same basic compositional concepts. Every take is not a copy of a perfect studio version, but a new piece in and of itself. The paranoid song titles are a result of our constantly running into gun culture and gun-themed conversations while in Oklahoma and Texas. 'Libation' was later re-titled and re-arranged for trio (with trombone added).

These recordings remind me of an American underground that although only a few years old seems so far in the past already. Impossible to excavate from present day snow-storm of internet chatter it remains only as a fossil in the minds of those who experienced it at the time.

credits

released April 4, 2010

Thank you: A Thousand Cranes, Christina Carter, Husere Grav, James Fella & Tim Coster.

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Metal Rouge Los Angeles, California

Punk, in the spiritual sense of the term.

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