Fay/John Wiese/High Places/San Gabriel Concert Review 7/11 @ The Echo

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Who doesn’t want some electronic music on a Wednesday? I’m unemployed and I can stay out all night, so off to the Echo I went. The show was celebratory, due to Time No Place releasing records from Fay and San Gabriel.

To be honest, based on her performance, I’m not exactly sure why Fay had an album released. She worked with a laptop and keyboard, playing music that verged on dancy but didn’t quite make it. When there were lyrics, they were pretty bad (and the one about the cookie jar just made me think of Ciara). None of the people I was with particularly enjoyed her, either.

John Wiese, my longtime experimental music crush, was the one I was there to see. He was an odd addition to the evening’s program, as he plays blistering, strange experimental music, and everyone else was playing dance music. He was the only musician to be sitting in a chair, twiddling knobs and clicking a laptop. And I loved it. It was a sonic journey through a haunted woods, with monsters whirling by in the wind, and every time you thought you might be safe, there was another trap. I’ve heard Wiese play much harsher stuff – the noise blasting out made me feel like the guy in the Memorex ad, mind-blown and literally blowing backwards – but this was little less deafening. Two of my three friends mouthed, “What the f*ck?!?!?” at me, but I just put my hand over my heart. Love it.

High Places turned out to be the biggest draw, and I can see why: they were extremely likeable. Catchy electronic dance music in coldwave style, two tables of electronics, female vocals and a guy pounding on some sort of electronic drums I couldn’t see. Everyone was dancing. HP did a very cool, almost unrecognizable cover of The Flamingos’ “I Only Have Eyes For You.” I think we all would have been happy for them to play an extra half hour.

San Gabriel wrapped up the night. A single guy in a floppy hat, mixing on different boards. It was basic dance music, and I didn’t stay for the whole set.

Kicking myself that I didn’t buy any music from High Places.

-DJ Maliboo Skipper

 

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