It gives me a nice peaceful feeling spacey weird stuff punching pounces of sound out of odd objects slippery cymbals clash on the table the pipes of Pan in the song it’s a surreal singalong in swing back to get a better sound the abounding panorama the sexual innuendo bended notes flailing and flaking and flashing what if the world explodes a day of pain stuck with a pin in its stomach until it bleeds more surreal sound what if a porcupine pops its quills in my hands and does head stands the sound will still rise to the skies
This puts me in a peaceful mood just two tuneful sax lines linear buzzing like cicadas on August trees the Om chant the splitting of sugar cane the forest in the rain and I pause and wonder my head is hard my hands are soft the record room is warm as are the sounds turning to clarion trumpets glistening with spittle Dave’s gold wedding ring round ring finger just stays still as the others jitter Steve gets growling wild but tame as a fox in a strawberry patch and now they echo loud grand and glorious Dave with heavy harmonics it’s the intro to Coltrane’s Meditations now butchering Butcher slow undulating waves of sheets of sound Glossolalia of brass and pads
Michael Passarini caught a great motion chiaroscuro of me reading seven poems at Kate Lee’s Chillith Fair, of which I was the only male performing among a series of women performers. The the selections were composed that morning (Sunday), on selected of the favorite performers on the bill.
Michael Passarini is just a scrappy guy from Lexington, but the intelligence of his film on the recent underground fest indicates there’s more than a surface semblance in his name to the great Piero Pasolini. Like the latter, he gets close up and slow to the juicy details, so you can see, feel and hear the grain of wood, the shine of steel.
The Underground Music Festival was a long, two-day extravaganza, in a claustrophobic space with crowds. Passarini allows you to experience a condensed best of it, with an encapsulation that has the feel of a whole, and also intimates the feel of the New England underground music scene itself, in all its grit and basement glory.
When I first saw Hide, a strange, good-looking man outside The Midway Cafe in Jamaica Plain, he looked at me with a glint in his eye. He had me won over even before I heard his music. He told me his age, 52, a little greater than mine, and I knew we were the same generation, even to the most influential album from when we were ten years old, Yes’s Close to the Edge.
We both were hit by the crossfire of prog and punk in the ’70s, and we both came out of it scathed in different ways. But that’s a long story… I learned he had put together Ultra Bide in Kyoto in 1978; then I realized he was only a teenager then. Then it struck me – this was the Japanese Sex Pistols. They were there. When it was happening. What’s more, their work has continued to evolve, through periods in NYC and back to Japan.
DNA vs DNA -c has the energy of new wave condensed into a 21st century microchip. It’s got complex rhythms and space-age guitar swipes, napalm-scorched harmonies. You can hear the last 45 years of rock and youth culture whizzing by your eyes like you just got shot in a foxhole in Vietnam.
I saw their headline performance that night, and it blew my mind. What’s even sweeter, the twenty-something kids in the crowd were bopping around like it was a high school dance, or CBGB’s in 1977, the year punk broke. It was all of a piece, like a swath of satin fabric they proceeded to rip to shreds. This all happened of a period of fifteen minutes. Ultra Bide condenses epic energy into poignant, touching, funny haiku.
Raw blistering energy from this Kyoto trio razor sharp knife scrapes on silver surfaces clanging metallic bell sounds wild motor car engine fury whirligig whirlpool bedlam a drumbeat like stuff tumbling down a staircase bone fide punk feel but a mad scientist’s experimentation multidimensional like orbiting planets or shifting tectonic plates in an earthquake a driving force the trio at sixes and sevens but all of a fabric a wild striped satin stripped to shreds but coalescing again with the touch of a magic wand anime magic swirling demoness queen sonic lust forever Japan