so this past weekend in st. louis at the spooky action palace was nothing short of spellbinding. the finnish caravan made its way through the midwest (along with davenport and the might skaters) and laid a psych bomb on st. louis like its never seen. first i want to give props to michael @ spooky action palace for putting on a great event. it stayed surprisingly calm with little drama (save for the girl passing out on night one, perhaps. that was hardcore).
anyhow, lau nau, islaja, tomutonttu (aka jan anderzen), kuupuu, taikuri tali, & sala-arhimo left a long-lasting impression on me.
every performance was great, though i have to admit that lau nau, islaja, and taikuri tali took me furthest. lau's set (w/ taikuri tali backing her up) was stunning. she played 'unplugged' and when she played the theme from holy mountain, i was practically on the floor. it was mesmerizing, beautiful, and nothing short of brilliant. her voice is enchanting. it's great on album, but in a live setting... it just grabs you and embraces you in its innocent warmth. it's jaw-droppingly beautiful stuff. antti's accompaniment was great, too.
islaja offered up one of the most-rocking sets, accompanied by sala-arhimo (aka jukka). i especially loved the songs that jukka played bass and sang on. his and islaja's magical voice work very well together. islaja's voice is simply powerful, though. you can't get away from it. she played a number of songs i recognized, but it was mostly just about the entire moment, not the individual songs. it was great. i also have a new affinity for her for claiming that jan anderzen is their (the finns) "evil master from mordor!" (all said in an authentic possessed-by-satan voice). heh.
and then there was taikuri tali... nothing like the above two. taikuri tali (i believe) is antti tolvi's (perhaps best known for playing in finnish freejazz kings, rauhan orkesteri, with his brother jaakko) solo project. on this night, lau nau also played with him to create a wonderful collage of clattered folk sounds. it was hypnotizing, but wholly inspiring. their CDR on POK is lovely. and it was an added bonus that they wore blankets and scarves (or something!) over their heads. heh.
of the non-finns.. while davenport were fantastic and in a mode like i'd never heard them, the skaters stole the show. it's hard to believe that two guys sitting on the floor can create such sounds. it was a deep, dronning spiritual sludge. seriously, the way that the low-frequency wails completely infected your blood... it was like a fucking religious experience. consider me converted. i've long enjoyed the racket that james ferraro and spencer clark have released on various CDRs and tapes, but none of it comes close to seeing them live. it was fantastic.
the whole weekend was great. i am more inspired than i've been in a long, long time. it was also wonderful to finally meet a bunch of people i've been corresponding with throughe mail for the past year or more. lee jackson
and i will be co-writing a lengthier recap for foxy digitalis
, complete with pictures (and, i hope!, mp3s).
now, i just need to figure out how i can move to finland...