Wow! The Tights show at Blim tonight, as part of the Lamb's Wool uhh revue, was really very exciting! Having seen the Winks about six times in the last year, it was really great to see Todd and Tyr do something quite different, to see how well they interact with each other in a completely other mode. Andy Dixon, aka Secret Mommy, added live electronic manipulations to their improvisations, which ranged from fairly loud and noisy to fairly quiet and textured, with Todd at one point bringing in a theme from "Armagideon Time," by Willie Williams (or so I learned after the gig, having always previously associated it with the Clash -- tho' Todd got detoured into a blind alley briefly and tried to tell me it was by Wesley Willis, which is a very different matter indeed). I liked the set far better than the previous Secret Mommy gig I'd seen, and bought two copies of the limited Tights CDR with hand-drawn art by Tyr (one for me and one for a cello-playing friend). She tells me they have a split Winks/Tights CD coming out in September...
There was much else to the night, but the high points were all Winks-related. Tim Sars, the baritone sax guy, did very cool improvisations over recordings he laid down live, creating lovely layered sounds, his sax playing reminding me of, oh, Albert Ayler playing a really subdued dirge. On a baritone sax. Tyr did some solo cello stuff (Bach with distortion!), too; she's really a very very GOOD musician. Their performances were punctuated by dance bits, my favourite of which was by Patricia Kim, I think -- doing something quite expressive to what sounded like a Tom Waits song I don't know (or the vocals from a Tom Waits song -- something to the effect of "What the hell's he building in there?" -- recontextualized in the context of minimal electronic music). A night like tonight fills me with protective feelings for our Vancouver scene. It seems the way of things that half of the people I saw perform on tonight's showcase will probably be doing straight jobs by the time they're 30 -- with their art under their beds (like me), unrealized writing projects in long-unopened files on their computer (like me), lyrics to songs without music set to them (like me), forced to content themselves with the consumption of art, since work takes up most of their day. The Winks seem like they just might have a chance to make a career for themselves at this, though; they're good enough, passionate enough, unique enough, dedicated enough, nice enough that it just seems like they might have a kick at this particular cat, and I'll do whatever I can to encourage that: fuck dayjobs! (fuck straight jobs! Or as a poster in Vancouver's forgotten anarchist paper, Open Road, used to read:
Before it Fucks You
It's soooo cool that they're going to be touring Australia, too. It just makes me feel warm and fuzzy all over.
Anyhow, one funny moment I wanted to relate: Todd and Tyr brought glow-in-the-dark goalie-type masks to wear on the dark stage as they performed. Todd put his on, but Tyr was reluctant. I considered starting a chant of "Put It On! Put It On!" (not because I cared about whether she was wearing a mask, which is why I didn't bother, but because it would have been a pleasing reversal of a more usual phrase sometimes directed at women on stage). Such things amuse me, anyhow. They may not translate to the page.
Hey: are you from Vancouver? Do you want to support the local arts scene? If so, have you gone to Blim yet? If not... Well, uh, you should go. Really. It's a nice little venue, way up in the Penthouse of an office building near Tinseltown. There's almost always neat stuff going on. Just take a chance...
PS: Oh: I chatted with Tim, too, and he tells me that he'll be doing big-band kinda stuff at the Commercial Drive Legion on Saturday night, with a project called Sweet Pea. If y'all happen to need something to do. Lee Hutzulak plays Blim, meanwhile. I think I'm stayin' home, myself. Broke again.