Monday, April 18, 2011

Show review: Tobacco, Beans, Shapers at Lincoln Hall, 4/15

Posted by Andrew Hertzberg

So how long have those pat downs been going on at Lincoln Hall? Really getting tight around there. But that still wasn’t the weirdest part of the night: that honor goes to Tobacco. But let’s start at the beginning.

Locals Shapers kicked things off with their usual brand of musical voodoo. I couldn’t help but think that the projected negatives of human bodies behind them were a perfect metaphor for their music: negative versions of conventional rock songs. From free jazz to post rock, chaotic to melancholic, they traverse a dynamic musical landscape. Check out their Daytrotter session from last week to get a taste if you haven’t already.

New York rapper and Anti-Pop Consortium member Beans was up next. In true minimalist style, he hit play on his laptop and solo-rapped-no-posse for the next 40 minutes. Lacking the grandiosity of Kanye or the sideshow absurdity of OFWGKTA, the performance wasn’t the most exciting. But guy raps pretty damn good for nearing 40, his voice at points taking on the scratches of a record. A more enthused audience member than I graced the stage with her presence for a bit, while security said "not a chance" to her friend. Another bit of confusing over-security at Lincoln Hall. So that was Beans. And then…Tobacco: 

Women suggestively blowing bubble gum. Don’t Go Into the House. Fat Boys. Ice cream being made. A guy grabbing a transvestite’s ass. Campy '80s horror films spliced with porn. Pterodactyl porn. Alien porn. Manicures. Ninja on a golf course. Wrestling. Aerobics. Poodle aerobics. 900 number hotlines. Tanning bed explosions. Did I mention '80s camp? All these and more were included in the barrage of images projected over Tobacco as they played. Comprised of Black Moth Super Rainbow frontman Tom Fec, another synth player and the drummer from Shapers, the music fell secondary to the absurd imagery that assaulted my consciousness. Really. I gave up on camp a long time ago, but this montage was brilliant. The crowd’s biggest cheer came during the second, yes, second alien porn scene, when the woman went to satisfy the extraterrestrial being orally.

OK, fine, musically there were plenty of hip hop beats, psychedelic jams, big cutting bass and vocodorized vocals Tobacco has become known for. Combined with a BMSR track, it was really all that could be expected, plus Tom occasionally rocking an Explorer. But the real show certainly wasn’t on the stage, but on the screen above. Plenty of bands have weird imagery and projections (of Montreal comes to mind) but the recycling Tobacco does is pretty damn good. Get just a taste below with this video for "Constellation Dirtbike Head" that, God willing, someone will use ironically in their live show twenty years down the road.

TOBACCO - Constellation Dirtbike Head from anticon. on Vimeo.
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