Live Blog: Drone Not Drones II
(Note: We will be checking in from Drone Not Drones II at the Cedar in Minneapolis. Let’s see how much drone we can handle.)
7:26 – Arrived. It begins. International Novelty Gamelan are a four piece tonight, and they are kicking things off. Would be lying if I said I had any idea the instruments they were playing, but as always, it is interesting.
7:38 – First transition goes seemlessly. Only 327 to go. Jesse Petersen is now layering the drone on solo guitar. Also, there is either a smoke machine or someone started a fire under the stage. Either way, it looks cool.
7:44 – People are already taking advantage of the invite to lay on the floor and soak in the drone. It also is very dark in the Cedar. Chances we make it through the night without someone getting a shoe in their mouth while they are zoning out?
8:05 – Food Pyramid are a four piece tonight, and are laying a heady new age vibe on the crowd. A side note, but we’ve went from traditional instruments from hundreds of years ago to electric guitars to synths in the first three bands. At this progression, we should have robots on pluto transmitting brain wave music from 200 years in the future about five bands down the line, right? Thinking around 11:30? I can’t wait.
8:16 – Edit. There are five dudes making up Food Pyramid tonight. And the set has gone from new age to sonic freakout.
9:01 – A decidely fuzzy and warped BLNX have recorded vocals over a heavy wave of guitars, bass and elextronic drums.
9:04 – Good real estate on the floor is going fast. Bonus points to the planners who brought lawn chairs and blankets.
9:19 – Some very solid, warm vibes coming from this BLNX set. Was not expecting this…nice surprise.
9:29 – After joining in with BNLX for swelling waves of lush guitar feedback, Flavor Crystals now have the stage to themselves. A much more subdued, mellow jam happening, led by spaced out guitars and a tepid rhythm section slowly rambling forward.
9:42 – Just dosed off on the floor of a cpncerr venue, and was not arrested or even asked to leave. This may start a dangerous precident.
10:03 – Drone Man Winter sound haunted and spooky with their army of fiddles
Definitely a different vibe than the last few guitar-centric bands.
10:28 – It is starting to smell a bit like a commune in here.
10:52 – Alan Sparhawk, of Low fame, is diving into a meditative solo guitar set. Tranquil loops, medium fuzz and shattered melodies. I don’t want to jump the gun, but I think this kid has a future in the music biz.
11:22 – Sparhawk stuck around to noodle for a bit with Michael Lewis and Jeremy Ylvisaker before exiting stage left.
11:33 – Lewis (bass) and Yvisaker (Guitar) might be the most dense sounds yet. They are escewing the wide to go very deep, rolling out wave after wave of molten lava. Sounds great.
11:50 – Things got real mellow, and real melodic, fast. Really spanning the extremes, these two.
12:14 – First snoring from a floor-layer. Almost louder than the droning.
12:24 -Pagoda ov Thunderboldt have been building and building, starting with a trickle and spinning upwards toward a bristling pinnacle. Now five strong, they have what can pnly only be described as an intensly muscular sound. A wall of noise that seems more daunting by the second.
1:11 – Jets Lags bringing the old school cred to the stage. The drone continues. I’m sensing a trend.
1:17 – Solitary dude standing in the middle of the room, surrounded by a sea of streched out bodies strewn across the floor. He looks both like a deadicated fan and the last survivor of an apocalypse, not sure what his next move should be.
1:32 – Not surprising, given their pedigree (Hammerhead, Seawhores, Cows, etc), but Jet Lag ramped up to a level that hadn’t been heard yet. A heavy hammer.
1:51 – Chatham Rise are playing actual “songs” with melodies and vocaLs…and somehow I miss the drone.
2:17 – …..and the drone is back. Old Moon, ye of duel guitars, bass and hushed, cymbol-less drums, are slowly and delicately exploring a sonic nether world. Many left are in sleeping bags or on fancy looking mats. I gather they are in this for the long haul. Drone on.
2:47 – Dead Gurus are rolling five deep, and have the added wrinkle of a trumpet in the mix. Pretty seemless blend from Old Moon, and the heavy vibes continue.
3:03 – Hard leaving knowing that Dosh and Comb Boats are next, but without a fancy sleeping mat, a warm bed beckons. More drone tomorrow.
10:32 – We’re baaaaack. At least for an hour. Seem to have caught the end of Finger Pressure, with flute and trumpet in tow, and the transition to Satvia Flats.
10:43 – Aggressivly quiet minamalism from Satvia Flats. Even whispera from the crowd can be hears over their two guitar + electronics hum.
10:47 – Left turn. Now they are playing a song from the Satvia Flats (or Robust Worlds?) catalog with a drum machine picking up the pace. Now guitar, Roland keys, bass and vocals. Making the most of their 30 minutes. Cool.
11:04 – Ventures Cover Band now. Thick slab of metallic noise, all angry buzzes and hisses. I don’t remember this one from any of my Ventures LPs.
11:32 – Smooth switch from the damaged, crackling Ventures Cover Band set to the twinkiling, interatellar modulations of DKO. A whole rack of synths and electronics, with a slab of bass to keep it from floating out into space.
3:42 – Lunch, nap amd errands down. Walked back into the Cedar in time for the pristine soundscapes of 555. Sounds like the rain forest coming to life.
4:04 – Now Solar Pawn, who I’m not familiar with, are up. Sounds like drone music. Walking into a totally dark room, even on an overcast day like today, is pretty jarring. The music is starting to feel hallucinatory, even for someone like me who got sleep. Can’t imagine how folks who have been here the whole time are feeling.
4:08 – Additional note to the last entry. Major kudos to Luke for putting this on and running it, the sound people dealing with the chaos of new bands every 30 minutes, and the always amazing Cedar staff and volunteers. Treasures to our city, all of them. Oh, and the bands, but they get enough credit as it is.
4:47 – A quirky, mad scientist set from Tim Kaiser.
5:02 – POS is going for a barely there minimalism. Crackling drum beats are fighting for air against damaged elecrronics. A bruised, harsh landscape that seems to be hanging on by the skin of its teeth.
5:16 – His set took a turn towards a slighlty more upbeat eletronic direction, with synths and drum machines nearly melding towarsa a dancable level, before retreating back to the shadowy of drone.
5:31 – We’ve reached the point of the day where a robot machine is playing on the floor of the Cedar. In a shcoking twist, said robot is playing drone music. It would have been pretty funny if it had busted out surf rock or soemthing.
6:04 – Reviler staff are happy to report excellent dinners at both the Wienery and the Afro Deli. Highly recommended, and we promise we wern’t given anything to say that. (But if either establishment is interested in ever greasing our wheels with delicious food, give us a jingle. Out code of conduct booklet is pretty thin.)
6:17 – Back to human drone. Noise Quean Ant are a trio in a tight circle in the shadows of the stage making harsh, thick walls of noise.
6:42 – StoLyette are really messing with the formula. Six string basa, warbly space-synth noises and spoken word in Russian (I think). With the gargling synths under a haze of static, it sounds like an interplanetary transmission. Cool stuff.
7:07 – StoLyette has merged with Invisible Boy’s guitar and drums seamlessly with a wash of cymbals and looping guitar.
7:14 – Invisible Boy’s vocals sound amazingly unearthly.
7:31 – The 6 piece Paris 1919 shatters the ppeaceful Lull with some noise into some much calmer electronics and strings. The first group with a director at this?
7:48 – Paris 1919 has settled on a beautiful bass melody.
8:58 – American Cream is a trio tonight mixing guitar drone with a cimbalom, sounding like hammered piano strings
9:12 – American Cream have worked into a fury of feedback waves, Nate even dragging his guitar over the keyboard.
9:48 – Chicago’s Brokeback is hitting a steady groove with Sam Prekop of Sea & Cake and Nate from Bombay Sweets joining
10:14 – Moss Folk has taken over as the final act with a repetitive guitar loop. Let’s see how they take it home
10:50 – Members of American Cream and Brokeback have rejoined the stage and it’s building to a giant crescendo.
11:10 – The final decay loop has hit the end. 28 hours done!