Music seen at Geno's, October 2, 2008
For the last six years, the maniacal power trio of Confusatron have been delighting and baffling audiences throughout New England. Winners of the Best Category-Defying Act award in the 2008 Portland Phoenix Best Music Poll, Adam Cogswell (drums), Jason LaFrance (bass), and Doug Porter (guitar and vocals), each brilliant and versatile individually, combine like a sonic Voltron, becoming more than the sum of their parts.
Though Porter also plays in death-punk monsters Covered in Bees, and Cogswell and LaFrance handle rhythm duties for costumed trash-rockers Man-Witch, Confusatron is not mere hard rock. They use the same everything-plus-the-kitchen-sink approach to music employed by luminaries like John Zorn, Mike Patton, and Bill Laswell. Take the song “A.C.W.A.P.S.I.O.N.” It starts off with staccato bursts of high-speed thrash before morphing into spacey jazz that would make John Scofield proud. Combining songs from 2004’s Chewbacalypse Now with new material, they had the crowd in a trance as one song bled into another virtually non-stop for their 90-minute set. They defy not only categorization, but rational thought, and simply must be heard to be believed.
Opening the show was Ricky Boy Floyd (a/k/a Rick Dalton), front man of late, lamented local legend The Horror, doing a one-man show that straddled the line between stand-up comedy and existential performance art. His semi-improvised jokes and anecdotes riffed on the terrors of everyday life, like work, dealing with the cops, getting old, and the barking dog next door. The centerpiece of the performance was a surreal Punch ’n’ Judy act featuring two astronauts (both voiced by Dalton) adventuring across an amazingly realistic moonscape and encountering fuzzy, mind-obliterating aliens along the way. He closed with a stunning rendition of “From Russia with Love,” from the James Bond movie of the same name. Look for him opening for Twisted Roots at the Big Easy later this month.
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