Hey y’all. I’m gonna try to see how this whole Grooveshark embedded playlist thing works/looks. So here’s the deal. If this turns out okay, you get a playlist of the phenomenal Zelienople album His/Hers. If it doesn’t, well, nothing will happen. Ready? WOO!
Aaaaaaand that looks good to me! Well, I shan’t really write anything involved about this, but I’ll say that Zelienople is one of my latest obsessions, and His/Hers is one of their strongest albums. It’s got that Scum-era Bark Psychosis underwater contemplative chaos thing going on, which is a major plus in my book. But why should I prattle on about it? You can listen to it right here! Is music criticism dead? Was the preceding question so 2007? Yes and yes. Enjoy.
As you may or may not know, I’m an Austinite, and I have a blessedly typical, yet nevertheless awesome, SXSW experience to share with you.
I had just wrapped up an early evening which featured seeing my girlfriend’s friend’s band Other Lives* and was biking home past Cheer Up Charlie’s on 6th Street when I heard what I assumed was two bros engaging in a dueling synthesizer space-out. It was very Emeralds-esque, and I had to circle back and see what the deal was. As soon as I rounded the block, the wash of cascading hypnosis abruptly stopped and segued into a head-spinning finger-tapping frenzy. Anticipation welled in my chest, and I got the feeling that something absolutely unexpectedly amazing was going on onstage. I rounded into view and was confronted with the sight of a dude absolutely shredding onstage, flying solo. Holy chops! I stood outside the fence cordoning off the area and watched the guy just dominate his guitar for 20 minutes. The guitarist’s face was pained, his posture contorted, as he finger-tapped blazingly intricate guitar fractals. At some point, I caught my jaw just hanging open, and I laughed to myself in sheer glee. Occasionally, I’d glance around, and everyone who was watching (probably about 40 in all) had the same ecstatic, engrossed gaze. A handful of times I’d make eye contact with a fellow traveller and we’d exchange one of those holy-shit-are-you-seeing-what-I’m-seeing glances. And yes, we’d all convey to each other, this is really happening. Affirmation was all around.
And then, after about 20 minutes of dizzyingly unleashing a torrent of harmonics and overtones, the guitarist abruptly stopped. There was a split second of silence before the audience erupted into a round of applause surprisingly enthusiastic for its modest size. I walked straight up to the guy and gave him my typical dumbstruck intro:
“Hey, man, that was awesome.”
He seemed very generous and grateful, and told me his project was called Hubble—an apt name. I left, absolutely addicted.
Once I got home, I spent an hour trying to find information on the guy. As one might imagine, a really obscure act with a name as heavily trafficked as Hubble was kind of hard to come by online. Determination conquers all, though, and I finally found Hubble’s casette online. Click the living bejeezus out of that link! CLICK IT AND LOVE IT. I also found this excellent video of of Hubble performing on a Brooklyn rooftop. Here it is:
A secondary takeaway from all this (the primary one being that Hubble is important and beautiful and transformative and that I was lucky to see him live): I have learned that Terroreyes.tv is a totally badass website.
*I would like to go on record to state that Other Lives is an absolutely phenomenal band. And don’t be suspicious: My judgment here is not clouded from relational duty or proximal taint. Their newest album, Tamer Animals, is sad, beautiful, triumphant music. Listen to them.