Review: 48 Hour Music Festival

Music Seen
By CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  March 10, 2010

With a roster of 27 diversely talented local rock musicians, you walk into an event like the 48 Hour Music Festival — the culmination of two days of practice and construction of 20-minute sets by six spontaneously generated bands — expecting the unexpected (see "Random Rules," by Christopher Gray, March 5). But still: there's no way to truly steel yourself for a few of the spectacles on hand Saturday night at SPACE. Like, the sheer surrealness of seeing Zen Ben play oboe in the Eric Brackett Music Group, or Katherine Hulit (freestyle?) rapping her way through the Clöven Dözer's dank metal chords, or — most blessedly of all — witnessing Portland's only slightly ironic answer to Sade, in the form of ROY G. BIV (named for the colors of the rainbow).

Even the more conventional acts weren't quite nestled in any specific genre. Sister-ita, which seemed to be the consensus favorite of the night (though every band had their partisans), evolved from a rock band tweaked out by Casey McCurry's contrapuntal synth work into a juiced-up new-wave dance/rock act over the course of a few songs. Vaxxene (excellent singer Gina Brown wrapped up their set by saying, "You've just been Vaxxeneated!") found creative ways to get around their lack of a drummer, with a two-keyboard approach to the fanged doo-wop of "Devil's Reef," and taunting military ratatats on edgier rock tunes. Stoner band Jefferson Slaveship, with another great female singer (a theme of the night), Katie Gilchrest, peppered their big sound with Noah Defilippis's eager drum rolls.

Magnetic oddness prevailed among the night's other acts. The Eric Brackett Music Group, fundamentally warped by the aforementioned oboe show, were otherwise a fine minimalist post-rock group, thanks to Brackett's mastery of the taut, lethargic time signature. It'll take the polished live recording to decipher what exactly was going on with the shamanistic Clöven Dözer. Ultimately, it was ROY G. BIV who stole many of our hearts, with MPC- and drum-machine-driven slow-jam beats, the odd cello/slide guitar/dance interlude, and the sultriest and most brilliant hook of the night, courtesy of singer Ginette Labonville: "I want to text you all night long." Justin Timberlake: your next session band has arrived.

  Topics: New England Music News , Entertainment, Entertainment, Music,  More more >
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY CHRISTOPHER GRAY
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   GIRLS (AND BOYS) ON FILM  |  July 11, 2014
    The Maine International Film Festival, now in its 17th year in Waterville, remains one of the region’s more ambitious cultural institutions, less bound by a singular ambition than a desire to convey the breadth and depth of cinema’s past and present. (This, and a healthy dose of music and human-interest documentaries.) On that account, MIFF ’14 is an impressive achievement, offering area filmgoers its best program in years. With so much to survey, let’s make haste with the recommendations. (Particularly emphatic suggestions are marked in bold print.)  
  •   AMERICAN VALUES  |  June 11, 2014
    The Immigrant  seamlessly folds elements of New York history and the American promise into a story about the varieties of captivity and loyalty.
  •   CHARACTER IS POLITICAL  |  April 10, 2014
    Kelly Reichardt, one of the most admired and resourceful voices in American independent cinema, appears at the Portland Museum of Art Friday night to participate in a weekend-long retrospective of her three most recent films.
  •   LET'S TALK ABOUT SEX  |  April 09, 2014
    Throughout its two volumes and four hours of explicit sexuality, masochism, philosophical debate, and self-analysis, Nymphomaniac remains the steadfast vision of a director talking to himself, and assuming you’ll be interested enough in him to listen and pay close attention.
  •   ASHES AND DIORAMAS  |  March 28, 2014
    History, rather than ennui, is the incursion that motivates this, his most antic and most somber work.

 See all articles by: CHRISTOPHER GRAY