Friday, May 17, 2013
Black Pus and Aan @ Neurolux (5/14/13)
This show caught my interest when I learned that Black Pus was the solo project of Lightning Bolt's Brian Chippendale. I'd never heard either act, but Lightning Bolt attracted a good deal of buzz when they played the Shredder last September. It didn't hurt either that the bill included Portland band Aan, whose set at the Red Room last February I'd enjoyed greatly.
I counted sixteen or so people at Neurolux when I arrived. When Black Pus played, about twenty people were inside watching. Not a big crowd, but admittedly, this stuff wasn't for all tastes.
Aan opened the show. As longtime readers have probably noticed, when a regularly returning out-of-state band returns again, I'm prone to make some crack like, "Why don't they just buy a house here?" I'll refrain from doing that with this two-time Treefort act, however, because I like them more each time that I see them. Their glittering, stinging guitar, their smoothly eccentric rhythms and their airy synthesizer all sounded in fine form. So did Bud Wilson's vocals: his growl, flutter and wail proved equally skillful and enjoyable. Neurolux's flickering lights and twirling lasers complemented Aan's thorny dreaminess very nicely. Say, actually, why don't these guys buy a house here?
Black Pus played next. I got the feeling that things were gonna get interesting when I saw Chippendale set up his drums on the dance floor. I wasn't wrong. Some people would undoubtedly have found this guy's mix of buzzing, woofing, whoomping, squeeing noises and manic, unyielding drums too friggin' weird. Me, I found it as cleansing and invigorating as the (now sadly defunct) Finer Points of Sadism. It helped immensely that this stuff felt genuinely inventive and experimental; I didn't know what kind of sounds were going to come at me at any given moment. That spirit carried over into the slightly jazzy feel of Chippendale's drumming as well. This set featured an impromptu cameo by one half of local experimental group For Fuck's Sake, who hollered into Chippendale's mic-mask during the encore while the man bashed away.
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