words & photos by Natasha Ryan
The duo from New Mexico quietly emerged from the side of the stage and began playing to each other in the middle of the floor. The giddy audience started snapping photos and wondered out loud, "are they going to do the whole set here?" After the second song the band made their way on stage and Jeremy Barnes (ex-Neutral Milk Hotel and one half of A Hack and a Hacksaw) shared his enthusiasm for the brand new accordion he'd just purchased earlier that day. The pulsing, frantic Balkan sounds of the duo transformed the entire room into fluctuations of silent awe and pandemonium. Barnes was an eight-armed beast, hitting cymbals and playing percussion while attacking the accordion. Heather Trost broke a string towards the end of the set, but pulled on it for some interesting effects. the occasional shrieks in a definitively instrumental set elevated the hypnotizing beats to the climatic point of the night, and the set ended as suddenly as it began. - Natasha RyanZach Condon was nowhere to be found, but Jeremy's old bandmate Jeff Mangum was reportedly there to take in the show by A Hawk and A Hacksaw Saturday night at Mercury Lounge (1/10). Someone else said they also saw Julian Koster.
It was one of two shows AHAAH played in NYC this weekend. The second was last night (Sunday, January 11th) at Union Hall in Brooklyn. More pictures from Mercury Lounge below...
Great Lake Swimmers were also on the bill. Haley Bonar and Daniel Martin Moore opened the show.