by Andrew Frisicano
Mount Eerie's Phil Elverum @ Market Hotel...
The haunting, cryptic grind of Malkuth and the high-intensity shriek of Liturgy (in full corpsepaint) were quite the introduction for Mount Eerie's headlining set at Market Hotel on Halloween. The latest opus from Mt. Eerie (aka Phil Elverum), Wind's Poem, is a metal-inspired noise odyssey that manages to expertly pair brutal passages of distortion with ethereal lyrics and tender interludes usually found in his acoustic work. The somewhat rare occurrence of Phil's full-band tour, armed with the abrasive new album, was the obvious impetus for the creative holiday-night booking. Mount Eerie's live set, with Elverum backed by No Kids' Nick and Julia on synths and two drummers (one of which manned a massive gong), did not disappoint with its dynamic range - guitars blasted and died alongside Phil's whispered words.
No Kids, the quiet, restrained indie pop trio responsible for 2008's excellent Come Into My House, must have felt a bit out of place in the opening Halloween-night spot, but it was a different scene the following night at (Le) Poisson Rouge (I showed up too late to see them on Halloween so I stopped by the next night at LPR). At that show, the band followed classical pianist Dina Pruzhansky, whose opening set included selections from Debussy and Schumann. Welcoming the diversity, singer and songwriter Nick Krgovich played all his synth parts on the club's grand piano. Phil Elverum has been playing drums with the group all tour (drummer Justin Kellam has been living in Berlin) . His casual, sound-sensitive approach to the kit is rooted in his production style - subtle and unafraid of the occasional slip.
No Kids played a set of all new songs written for a forthcoming LP expected in fall 2010 (no word if they played the supremely excellent "For Halloween" on the night itself). The tunes dealt in Tin Pan Alley melodies (aided by the piano for synth substitution) and lyrics that painted a Hopperesque picture of isolation (and focused on Hollywood in specific terms). The crowd sat, still in a haze from Halloween, and soaked in the restrained songs.
I didn't see Tara Jane O'Neil's set either night. I don't believe she played at Market Hotel, but she was definitely set up to go at LPR. The Mount Eerie/No Kids/TJO tour continues through November 8th. Dates and more pictures from both shows are below...
No Kids @ LPR on Nov. 1st....
Malkuth (& the rest of the following pictures) @ Market Hotel on Oct. 31st...
Mount Eerie - 2009 Tour Dates
Nov. 2nd- Harrisburg, PA- Midtown Scholar Bookstore #
Nov. 3rd- Pittsburgh, PA- Garfield Art Works #
Nov. 4th- Cincinnati, OH- Art Damage Lodge #
Nov. 5th- Louisville, KY- Skull Alley #
Nov. 6th- Bloomington, IN- Banneker Community Center *
Nov. 7th- Madison, WI- High Noon Saloon #
Nov. 8th- Chicago, IL- Lakeshore Theater #
Nov. 9th- Iowa City, IA- Public Space One %
Nov. 10th- Minneapolis, MN- Bedlam Theater $
Nov. 11th- Rapid City, SD- Sports Rock Pizza !
Nov. 13th- Pullman, Wash- The Bell Tower
# w/ Tara Jane O'Neil and No Kids
* w/ Tara Jane O'Neil and No Kids and Prayer Breakfast
% w/ No Kids
$ w/ No Kids and Lucy Michelle and the Velvet Lapelles
! w/ No Kids and Motorbikes and St. Merman