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And Blur My Vision

February 23, 2009


I went to see El Guincho at his farewell Australia gig at The Tote last Monday. He was really good etcetera, etcetera. I also finally got to see Mark Barrage, a local lo-fi electronics guy who was supporting and who I had been interested in hearing for a while. It turned out to be one of the most awkward/intriguingly bad sets I have ever seen. Dude fiddled around with his little table of gear a bit or stood weirdly beside it to sing, dancing oddly. His vox were pretty low and lazy/slightly off key, which isn’t a bad thing but definitely contributed to the stilted vibe. The big Tote banner behind him, with its gritty/bourbon typeface, wasn’t wasn’t working for him either. The sound was okay I guess for a local act in a dingy bar but wasn’t doing the loose electronics any favours, taking them from haphazard/confused to confusing. Then halfway through one of his early songs he brought in a completely wrong beat playing at a completely wrong BPM. He somehow regained his composure and started up something else. Two songs later he put his microphone down his jeans and thrusted around to little reaction. I don’t know if it was meant to funny or make noise or both. When he started up his next song he started singing with a second microphone but every time he bought it to his face it would start to feedback. It took him half the track to realise it was because he still had the other microphone in his pants. For his last number he started up an annoying, lurching, tweeting noise and refused to stop it unless someone got up and MCed a few rhymes. Suffice to say he hadn’t really won the Monday night crowd over with his show so far and people just stood there sort of uncomfortable. “Come on,” he said, “isn’t anyone out there black?” After at least seven minutes of this shit some guy in what looked like a home-made Neckface shirt and who I half suspected was Neckface got on the mic, Barrage dropped a hip-hop beat and dude railed off “Fuck The Police” with a few Tote/Melbourne references thrown in for good measure, to put us out of our misery.

Later the main El Guincho dude asked the crowd if they liked the support to a tepid response. He said that he thought Barrage’s music was awesome and really sexy and that it was important for music to be sexy and that he dedicated “Palmitos Park” to him. Anyway, the performance was intriguing enough to me to go to his website and download a song off his last album called Delays. The song is called “Hindsight” and it’s actually really good, 8-bit pop with very Malkmus vox. I might even get dude’s CD and just never admit it to anyone who I was there with.

Mark Barrage – Hindsight

One Comment leave one →
  1. Sackinton permalink
    February 24, 2009 2:56 pm

    without crap music there can be no way out.

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