Hypatia Lake, Beast Please Be Still, Deelay Ceelay, The Luna Moth, Unlearn – Cumulus Festival Day 2: King Cobra

I think I like King Cobra.  I like the fancy lighting.  I like the movies that are playing for when the band is not entertaining enough for the hipsters.  The sound is pretty decent too.  Most of all, I like the floor.  It looks like it could tell a million stories.  And it likes gum. However, it was less populated tonight than the festival was last night. Hopefully Day 3 at The Vera Project (at 4PM) tomorrow will be sold out!

Since I waited for my sweatshirt to dry before leaving, I missed the first band.  Standard doors to show time is 30 minutes apparently.  Sorry, Unlearn.  I wanted to hear the Rhodes you were packing up.  I like how you removed the tolex and stained the wood (or built a custom case), I was thinking of doing that to my Rhodes.  It looks cool.

The Luna Moth
Cold moves from North to South and butterflies and geese disappear on the edges. It hunts them like a bad horror movie where the monster can’t run because the costume is simply too heavy. It moves mercilessly and inexorably slow towards the unsuspecting victim. Creeping through the night, the only sound an ominous silence. The prey flees on an imperceptible warning. If they stop now, they will surely perish. The cold marches on, chasing them as they flit randomly through the air or fly in perfect formation. South. Ever southward. And the power trio throws in a little metal influence to make sure you’re listening carefully. I sometimes wonder if the ad on their homepage for a drummer is still active though it’s been years since I played drums.

Deelay Ceelay
What could possibly be created by two drumsets and a bunch of lights? Add a sequencer or prerecorded music and a fancy visualization and you have Deelay Ceelay. Piebald once said, “All you need is drums to start a dance party.” Not even two drum sets, strobe lights, videos, electronic music and confetti could get us stoic Seattlites to dance. It was snowing outside! (I had better be able to get to my date tomorrow morning…) I bet they dance like crazy in Portland, where these two gentlemen hail from. Though I didn’t feel like dancing, I appreciated the fine skill of the two drummers. It takes something special to pull off two drumsets well, and Deelay Ceelay do it exquisitely. They are living proof that playing with metronomes or click tracks makes you an awesome drummer. They could have benefited from better sound, but it’s pretty tough to mic two drumsets. I wanted to hear the cymbals more. They also give their album away for free. There’s some cool stuff going on with these guys. Go check out their website. I wish I liked electronic music more.

Beast, Please Be Still
Remember when Igor Stravinsky wrote “Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring)” and then it got played live and people rioted? Well, there were no riots tonight (hey, we have a new president, everything is great!), but the performance of BPBS was basically just as envelope-pushing as that magnificent piece of work (not the ballet part, apparently that sucked. just the music.). The five gentlemen (plus two guest musicians) in BPBS played guitar, violin, bass, drums, yelling, baritone sax, soprano sax, electric melodica-looking thing (electric sax???), trombone, maybe a baritone horn and some weird percussion like a hunk of metal bashed on with a metal rod wrapped with fifteen rolls of electrical tape (give or take 14 rolls). The whole time they were playing, my forehead was all scrunched up. Just like Le Sacre du Printemps, you wonder if they are just tuning up and testing out their instruments or if these are actual songs. I didn’t even recognize when they started playing. Their music is some sort of tribal chaos with tendencies toward funk and avant jazz. How do they remember how the songs go? How do these songs make sense? The saxophone player had a wonderful jumpsuit on. If they all had the same outfit, they would make the perfect replacement for the Star Wars Cantina Band. So ahead of it’s time that it might have come from the future. In the chaos, the drummer was slapping his drums with his hands, the violinist shredded half of his bow up, and the whole place felt confused. This is what I expected from the Cumulus Festival! Awesome!

Hypatia Lake
Hypatia is a greek mathematician, possibly the first recorded woman mathematician of note. A lake is a body of water, inferior to both a sea and an ocean. Put them together and you have something you know about and something you don’t. There’s the familiar sounds of rock and roll emanating from the band, but the guitars are simply too crazy with effects and what not to be familiar. It’s like some foreign language. Like mathematics. In Latin. This four piece band uses 2 guitars, bass, drums and occasionally a Kaoss pad, I think. Hypatia Lake is the first band of the festival to use microphones to sing. (Beast Please Be Still did some great yelling into the air.) Though, half of the time, the vocals are merely notes and not so much perceivable words. Their sound is grungy and spacey. Like kids from Aberdeen figured out how to reach escape velocity. Like hippies started wearing flannel. Hypatia Lake used a projector as their only source of light, just like all those concerts from the 60’s I’ve seen in documentaries. These guys have been the least “post rock” band of the festival. They even used the “big rock ending.” I stuck around for most of the set, but then started thinking about the snow and how I have to write this thing and how I have to wake up at 9, which is only 6.5 hours away and how I haven’t slept well all week and how I need to be on my “A” game tomorrow. So I walked two blocks to my VIP parking spot and drove away.

Tomorrow: my favorite northwest instrumental band (still currently playing often).

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