Real Live Action

Colin Cowan & the Elastic Stars

May 22 @ China Cloud

The China Cloud

Esmée Colbourne

The release party of Spring Myths celebrated eleven days of hard work, Sun Ra and Cowan’s birthday, and the three quarter completion of Cowan’s seasonal themed project, “Seasonal State-of-Mind Tetralogy.”

The tiny, mystical space that is the China Cloud can only be found by going through a black, unmarked, Downtown Eastside door, and up a steep staircase. The glow of the low lights transformed the space into a wishing lantern floating in space. Scattered with overstuffed furniture, art, and candles, the China Cloud resembled a bohemian uncle’s eclectic attic living room.

I felt like I was crashing a family birthday party. There was an ambiance of intimacy, but that was ok, because the vibe definitely induced a warm, communal show.

Cowan’s incredibly lush music created a shared heartbeat. Seemingly renewed after living through the Eye of Winter, Cowan & the Elastic Stars seemed to bask in the new sunlight of changing seasons. His heavier songs, like “Yesterday’s Millionaires,” connected with the audience. Something about those sweet psychedelic guitar melodies encouraged some spiritually charged dancing. It was enjoyable to see a band that seemed to actually like jamming with each other, and relaxed enough with the audience to do their own thing and really groove.

Stacked beside sideways amps, a Califone record player was set on a green heart shaped chair. Controlled by Gaucher, the drummer, it was mysteriously spinning, the vinyl changing halfway through the show. Why it was there I can only guess, but I assume it’s connected to whirring, and what perhaps sounded like train effects.

Slightly d.i.y., a pot was utilized for additional vocal reverb.

Cowan ended the show by playing a lilting acoustic solo piece, finalizing the release by the lyrics “Don’t you stop.” Although abrupt, the ending was fitting for a show that felt like one long connected lullaby.

Although a small-scale show, this springtime mellow performance was yet another chance for Cowan and his Elastic Stars to create and share a world seen through rose tinted glasses.