Black Moth Super Rainbow at the Bluebird
Depending on the location of a performance, a music artist is afforded the ability to create the atmosphere needed to hype a crowd. Sometimes these efforts blow the recorded material away in clarity and force. Secondarily, certain artists know their efforts need to be amplified in order to make an incompatible venue work for their sound and the audience before them. Sadly, despite great musical prowess, both The Hood Internet and Black Moth Super Rainbow, seemed out of place at a venue the size of Bluebird Theatre.
The Hood Internet appeared on a stage fit for a festival DJ, with a table covered in a black cloth, an Apple Powerbook, and a mixer. Oh, and an 8 panel contraption with symmetrical LCD displays which were synchronized to flash in time with the music being played. The Hood Internet is officially comprised of Aaron Brink and Steve Reidell, though Reidell was the only one present for this show. He played a Girl Talk-inflected mix of mash ups. Formed in 2007, Brink and Reidell’s technique of matching beats of popular hip hop and various pop and rock hits of yesteryear is generally a fresh take on the DJ format.
Some DJs refining their live performance techniques to include a throwback to spinning real records and even MCing. The Hood Internet appears tied to the tropes of the mid aughts, when using all-digital equipment was a revolution. Going back to the notion of atmosphere, Reidell’s slick mixture of disparate genres, along with a healthy dose of bass would be incredible in a packed and humid Rhinoceropolis, where I had recently seen renowned DJ A-Trak. Or, if you were to throw on a Hood Internet mix in a dark room full of people, a party would certainly appear from the ether. When Reidell closed the set with a powerful mix of TNGHT’s hit “Goooo” and Kanye West and Jay Z’s “Ni***s in Paris”, I knew his pairings were that of a clairvoyant as this is actually a match-up set to happen on Kanye’s newest album “Yeezus”. I only wished his power to sway a crowd would’ve swayed a bit harder.
From The Hood Internet’s stellar mix of genres, we were then presented with Black Moth Super Rainbow’s (BMSR, hereafter) twist on vocoder driven electronica. Having seen BMSR once before in the 2005 in a Pittsburgh coffee shop, I was expected confrontational noise. Knowing their recent recordings, Thomas Fec and his band have swayed quite a bit further towards burbling synth tones. Given the show was 16+, I witnessed many underaged kids up front and center losing their shit. Nearly simultaneously, I saw one of these kids mouth “This is my song,” while hearing an older person standing directly in front of me yell at the band “BOOOOORING.” BMSR’s music is certainly not boring, and neither is it personalized enough to identify strongly with any particular song.
I hate to think that I’ve reached the point where I can tell kids ten years younger than me that they missed out on the basement shows of yore, as I know there are still great shows happening in basements. What I do miss is my openness to acts whose reputations are built on these shows. Going to shows at venues of this size where bands are relegated to playing the hits is discouraging. I loved both groups, I just wish the energy could spread to a room the size of Bluebird Theatre.
Photos and review by Kerry Nordstrom.