Play One Note

Psychedelic music blog covering psychedelic, folk, drone, metal, and all other forms of out music.

Posts tagged with ‘sxsw music’

Hubble (Ben Greenberg; Zs)

March 28, 2011

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 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.

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