Music Seen: Ocean and Pontiak

Ocean and Pontiak at SPACE Gallery, May 5
By CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  May 13, 2009

The day after Ocean's predictably under-attended (30-40 people) Cinco de Mayo performance at SPACE, a friend who also attended asked what I thought. "So loud," I said. "So slow," he responded. It wasn't hard to catch the reverence in both reactions.

Ocean's concerts demand you put on some earplugs but refuse to let you keep them in. Their music is, to a large degree, all about precisely what gets removed when there's a cushion between the stage and your shell-shocked eardrums: the puncturing shrapnel of their guitar feedback, Reuben Little's sunken growl.

The band played through the length of their latest album, the monolithic Pantheon of the Lesser (Important), and the differences (aside from the obvious absence of guest vocalist Yoshiko Ohara) were minor but interesting. Much of the set still moved at a slow, chugging grind, but the suspense in those long spaces between notes was greater: a product of eyeing drummer Eric Brackett to see when he'd lift his sticks again; wondering how long it would take Candy's wrenching, guttural vocals to fail; or merely the experience of hearing Pantheon echo out into a long, open room.

The night's out-of-town openers, earning more than a couple fans (and sales of their strong new album, Maker, on Thrill Jockey), were the three brothers Carney, who comprise Virginia's Pontiak. Equally loud but gleefully freewheeling in their approach, the trio never stay tethered to a style for long — whether dissonant stoner rock, borderline speed-metal, or a lighthearted indie style dotted with involving three-part harmonies.

  Topics: Live Reviews , Entertainment, Music, Music Reviews,  More more >
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY CHRISTOPHER GRAY
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   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.
  •   PASSION OF THE STRONGMAN  |  January 09, 2014
    The film’s aim is modest and powerful: to focus on the physical and psychological hurdles Schoeck must overcome not only to become a true strongman, but also to become an engaging performer.
  •   2013'S BEST FILMS ARE ONLY UNITED IN THEIR AUDACITY  |  December 19, 2013
     From murders to musings

 See all articles by: CHRISTOPHER GRAY