Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Evolution Revolution and the International Women’s Art Show.

The fluorescent lights of the front lobby at 51 3rd Street were blinding, but I welcomed them because fluorescence is good, unless it’s employed by Skidz pants, but these were light bulbs, and it was warm inside so I took off the mittens my mom made out of old sweaters and shoved them inside my winter coat pockets wondering where the music was. It would be the first time I saw Evolution Revolution.

Art exhibits of mainly the video variety were scattered about the space, but the sound of an accordion swept my attention away from the loop of human flesh being tattooed, purple ink oozing from its pores. We found that the fluorescent lights were reserved only for the entryway, as we were soon enveloped into darkness. I was actually startled at the clarity of the air in such a dense and people packed space, I half expected to pull out my fins and swim through clouds of gray cigarette smoke, funny the things your brain associates with basement concerts. But cigarette smokers shivered in the snowy courtyard while a baby and a child, straight from a karate lesson from the looks of it, stared in awe at the pretty lady with antlers who played the accordion on stage. We caught only the last song of Ryder’s set, which was unfortunate because her tattered tutu told me it had been fantastique.

Having never witnessed Evolution Revolution I incorrectly assumed that the two folks dressed as bugs (a spider and a butterfly to be exact, or maybe it was a fly and a butterfly, humans in bug costumes can so easily be misconstrued) were members of Evo Revo just waiting to take the stage, but apparently there was more than one set of humans posing as creatures at the International Women’s Art Show on March 8th, and before the music kicked off we would witness what was either: a.) a poorly rehearsed skit where the two actors berated each other on stage for having not practiced their skit, or b.) a very well rehearsed skit, in which the actors pretended to be angry and berate one another for having not practiced their skit. Either way I was thoroughly fooled into believing their rage (as was the baby who squirmed off of its dad’s shoulders, frightened by the alarming, although meaningful, bit where the butterfly’s wings are torn off as the butterfly writhes and screams in agony.
The baby seemed to take it better than I did).

There was then the routine art-show-live-head-shaving-act and a reading about Britney Spears. I spotted a wolf in the crowd and I knew the music was coming. Well, sort of.

It’s incredibly unfortunate that there aren’t as many aspiring sound-gals and guys out there as there are musicians. I know more than a few bands that would really love to have one on board. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from performing it’s that I hate turning knobs and pressing buttons while also trying to remember to smile as I sing lyrics and play chords. That and never piss off your sound operator if upon you one is befallen.

So partly due to the fact that the crux of live-head-shaving-act came from the shock value of audience participated silence while the sound of the electric razor echoed off the brick walls, Evolution Revolution had to wait for their sound check. Therefore the sound check was a bit long, but that’s what happens when you’re trying to play the music and adjust the levels at the same time. In the mean time, the audience had a whole lot of costumes to grin at. A praying mantis mask? Come on, who doesn’t love that? And (by now you know I’m not very good at animal costume identification, so I’m not sure if it was a rooster or a chicken, but either way…) the rooster/chicken was totally styling, and that foxy lioness… Grrrr. I’m also a sucker for mopey-dog percussionists with glasses. I looked around for the kids to see if they were loving it as much as I was, but by that time they’d gone home to bed.

Maybe it was the free red wine I was drinking (man I hope it was free, because I didn’t pay nobody) but I appear only to remember them playing three or four songs, which does not include their dance party jam at set’s end, featuring Salt ‘n’ Peppa’s Push It. I was really impressed with the Rooster’s uncanny ability to sing the bit that goes “S-S-S-Salt and Peppa’s here.” But I do know that a large majority of the show was spent with the wolf on a wrestling mat, occasionally picking up the mic to croon out a freestyle while the rest of the band jammed along.

When the band did play their songs they were tight, obviously well rehearsed, and fit into concentric circles of both danceable toe tapping music as well as singalongalbe melodic tunes. My only complaint was that there wasn’t more. But that’s a good thing. Their music was high-class, and that made me want seconds. Instead I saw what Evolution Revolution’s regular show goers consider a priceless wrestling match, all accompanied by six talented musicians dressed in animal costumes. I guess that’s what the infamous Evolution Revolution is all about. You never know if you’re going to get a show chock full of well-written, meticulously rehearsed songs, or if you’re going to get a different type of adventure altogether. Hey, I’ve paid $40 a show to follow bands who night after night haven’t been as entertaining.

International Women’s Day Art Show, microrevolt: http://microrevolt.org/reblog/archives/2007/02/-the-8th-of-mar.html
Evolution Revolution: www.myspace.com/evolutionrevolution

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