Wednesday, December 29, 2010

0 LIST MANIA: 10 Most Memorable Shows of 2010 by Midday Veil's Emily Pothast

Emily with  Midday Veil at Escalator Fest | Photo by Andrea Brunson
1) Oregon Painting Society
Hedreen Gallery, Seattle, 10/09/10

Not technically a show as much as it was a multimedia happening. Oregon Painting Society are a Portland-based collective who create interactive audiovisual environments, blurring the line between audience and performer. Their installation at the Hedreen included plants, crystals, and other objects which were hooked up to electronic currents so they could be played as synthesizers.

2) White Hills
Rontoms, Portland, 9/19/10

Unfortunately we missed White Hills during their recent Seattle show, but I’m glad we made the trip to see them the next night in Portland. Their new record for Thrill Jockey is great; their live show was absolutely stellar. Possibly the best rock band I’ve ever seen live, no joke.

3) Brother Raven (with Megabats, Expo 70)
The Rendezvous, Seattle, 11/01/10

Seattle-based synth duo Brother Raven is one of my favorite local bands right now. Co-founded by Gift Tapes mastermind Jason E. Anderson and multimedia artist Jamie Potter, Brother Raven specializes in improvisations recorded directly to tape, so their live shows are as free and spontaneous as their recordings. This particular show (with Megabats and Expo 70, which are also great bands) was Brother Raven’s last before Jamie moved to Portland in November. Here’s hoping they can keep the activity level high despite the long-distance relationship.

4) NYMPH (with Tiny Light, Shana Cleveland)
20/20 Cycle, Seattle, 5/06/10

NYMPH are based in Brooklyn, they’ve signed to Social Registry since their first Seattle show last May. Guitarist Matty McDermott channels Malian masters Tinariwen and Ali Farka Toure, while vocalist Eri Shoji’s style stems from her study of Gagaku and Butoh. The resulting combination is something that must be experienced firsthand.

5) Kali Descend!
Neumo’s, Seattle, 09/07/10

Kali Descend! is a fusion ensemble featuring Hindustani classical vocalist Sumitra Guha and drummer Peijman Kouretchian (Secret Chiefs III, Girth), performing heavy-hitting compositions glorifying Kali, the dark mother of cleansing death and rebirth. If you get the rare opportunity to see them perform, I highly recommend it.

6) Barn Owl (with Tecumseh)
The Funhouse, Seattle, 7/26/10

Barn Owl is the San Francisco-based duo of Evan Caminiti and Jon Porras. They play drone music that involves layers of heavily effected guitars and vocals into a swirling mass of trance-inducing goodness. Their set at the Funhouse utterly transformed the space and transported the audience to another plane. (It’s no wonder why their 2009 LP for Root Strata is called “The Conjurer.”)

7) Jeffertitti’s Nile and Dahga Bloom (at Portable Shrines Escalator Fest, Night 1)
Lo-Fi, Seattle, 10/22/10

Full disclosure: I’m involved with the Portable Shrines Collective and helped book this year’s Escalator Fest. But I had never heard of either Jeffertitti’s Nile or Dahga Bloom before their names came up for this year’s fest, and I feel like we couldn’t have discovered a pair of nicer bands. Topanga, CA’s Jeffertitti’s Nile played an energetic and charismatic set of hyper-enthused rock while Fullerton, CA’s Dahga Bloom sound like a long lost gypsy carnival through a psychedelic desert.

8) Prince Rama (with Deakin, Tiny Light)
Vera Project, Seattle, 9/23/10

Almost a year to the date after Prince Rama’s appearance at the first Portable Shrines Escalator Fest, they once again took to the Vera’s stage to play a solid set of astral jams to a small but appreciative audience on the heels of Shadow Temple, their new record for Animal Collective's Paw Tracks label.

9) Purple Rhinestone Eagle (with Eternal Tapestry)
Comet Tavern, Seattle, 4/01/10

Portland-based Purple Rhinestone Eagle also rocked the hell out of the first Escalator Fest. Since then they have toured Europe and the US extensively, honing a savage, Sabbathy sound. Word on the street is that the Eagle is playing the Comet again on New Years Eve...

10) Master Musicians of Bukkake and Arrington de Dionyso’s Malaikat dan Singa (with Midday Veil)
Comet Tavern, Seattle, 11/13/10

OK, not only did I help book this show, it was my band Midday Veil’s record release party. But even if we hadn’t played this gig, I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. Arrington de Dionyso’s Malaikat dan Singa has the finely-tuned presence of a shamanic ritual, while Master Musicians of Bukkake fuse sacred music influences from around the world with sweaty riff-rock. Sharing a bill with these two Northwest greats was a truly humbling experience.

Words by Emily Pothast

Notes from the editor:

Bio: Emily Pothast is a multimedia artist, musician, and writer based in Seattle, Washington. She is most known as a singer, songwriter and instrumentalist in the band Midday Veil. She is also the author of the blog Translinguistic Other, the co-founder of an indie record label of the same name, and a member of the Portable Shrines Collective.

A sincere thanks to Emily for her contribution to SRG's end of the year coverage, so much cool stuff to check out. Please go buy Midday Veil's fabulous debut "Eyes All Around", available at many of Seattle's fine indie record shops.


Midday Veil
Emily Pothhast


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