Real Live Action

Family Studies

w/ with Dada Centauri, Cadillac Spring, Yankee Yankee, and Mongst

The Zoo Zhop; March 17, 2012

by Penny Clark

If the brave and sophisticated attendees at the Unit Structure Sound Recordings label revue were looking for the party most dissimilar to any species of the St. Patrick’s Day variety, they completely succeeded. They would spend the next few hours in a state of mostly static mesmerization as the noise and drone music that characterizes the label pinned them by their ears.

A reward for the punctual, Mongst presented a wonderful opening set, a thundering soundscape of somehow unarticulated and omnipresent beats, delivered by a sweet and solitary musician surrounded by the patterning of laser lights. The crowd eagerly anticipated the next four bands and were not disappointed.

Yankee Yankee delivered a set that began along a similar line as Mongst, but with a touch of video-game and psych reference and then the addition of slamming drums.

Cadillac Spring was up next, with the sassy Tom Whalen, and music with a driving sense of impatience. With his back on the ground among the audience and his feet dangling casually up in the air, Whalen laced their strange no wave pop with an attitude of bratty irreverence. At one point, a member of the crowd clutched at his head in seeming desperation, which is exactly what every wholly successful noise show requires.

Whitney Ota and Andrew Hume of Dada Centauri crouched at the command boards (a large assortment of effects and synths) of their music spaceship, calling into existence the sounds of monsters talking, elephant stampeding, and ladies voices speaking subliminally.

Family Studies rounded off the night and delivered the last surprise with an unexpectedly energized set. The Zoo Zhop perfectly complemented the nature of this show, housing this excess of magical weirdness ably and naturally. The only element of the showcase conspicuously absent were female artists in an otherwise faultless display of talent.

Undoubtedly, this was the best means of escaping that annual recurrence of everything green and pukey.