Tuesday, May 16, 2006

DCIC at Warehouse "Black Box"

Last night, the DC Improvisers Collective (DCIC) played as part of a four-band bill at the Warehouse's "Black Box" theater.

Since we're heading into the studio in two weeks to make a CD, we wanted to get another chance to play out and see how things stand up with an audience present. Funny that it's always so different in rehearsal vs. performance.

The space is a challenging room, acoustically. It's pretty small, and very very live. Everything seems loud in there. Even when Ben was playing softly, the drums seemed loud. Mike tried to start the show with his bass clarinet, but things were just too darn loud to make that work. The tenor and soprano saxes worked out just fine. However, we all had a hard time hearing one another and had no idea what the audience was hearing. I'm not sure if this show really helped with our process for preparing for the upcoming recording, but that's how it goes, I guess.

It was a crazy and interesting night of music. Supernatural Hot Rug and Not Used opened the show with a short prepared guitar duo. They were followed by Na, which was a hard act to follow. Kazu performed in a costume made of two plastic garbage bags, tin foil helmet and tin foil boots. Their mix of spaz-out improv, goofy humor, and full-on noise makes for quite a bit of unpredictable theater. They ended their set with all three people kneeling on the floor pummeling a cymbal that was also on the floor, and screaming. All of them pummeling and screaming, like some kind of ritual - very Artoud, I suspect.

Following us, Mandarin Movie performed. They were also intense, but in a different way. Two bassists (one electric, one upright), drums, and trumpet/electronics. The drummer was excellent - great jazz technique and pure adrenaline rocking power combined. But with the two basses, and ferocious drumming, it was hard to hear the details.

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