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Emo's Anniversary Weekend: Another Year, Another Beer (Spilled on Your Shoes)

By Audra Schroeder, 2:38PM, Mon. Jun. 25, 2007

Lights out: Battles certainly have a lot of male fans.
Lights out: Battles certainly have a lot of male fans.

Friday night, Emo’s: First drink spilled on myself at roughly 10:30pm. But it was done in a rush to get away from the wankfest organized by Orthrelm guitarist Mick Barr. Dude can noodle. Later, 'round midnight, Gang Gang Dance cleansed the hippie/hipster masses with cerebral electro/rave/space waves, and a confused passerby in a “You Looked Better on MySpace” T-shirt spilled part of his drink on me. Nevertheless, GGD were engaging, if only for those in an altered state.

Geez, but what do they sound like? Well, as one friend put it, “Like Animal Collective being chased through SeaWorld by my Jamaican landlord.” At one point a guy up front tried feeling up his female companion during a tribal drum solo. Nice one. The Glorium reunion outside was a far tamer affair, save for singer Paul Streckfus whipping his mic chord around in a jaunty, lascivious manner.

Equally unclassifiable was Sunday's final anniversary show. Radio Birdman easily sold out the inside, but it was more surprising that Battles was moved outside. Halfway through "Atlas," from their excellent Warp debut Mirrored, the power went out, almost as if someone had willed it so that the whole crowd could scream the screwed sing-song beat. We stood there in the dark for a good five minutes before the power slowly returned and someone dropped their beer nearby.

Mirrored is not an album you can sit down and listen to. And so the live show was as much a feast for the eyes as the ears. Guitarist/keyboardists Ian Williams and Tyondai Braxton traded tweets, burps, squeaks, and cuts of noise while bassist/guitarist Dave Konopka and drummer John Stanier (Helmet, Tomahawk) stashed them away. Stanier’s the anchor, and when he actually reached for his crash cymbal – which he rigged a good three feet above his kit – you see this band is a physical endeavor. Could Battles finally unite fickle bloggers and guys who work at Guitar Center? Who knows, but it was one of the better shows I’ve seen this year. I didn’t even care when an Emo’s employee knocked a bunch of drinks and beer bottles off a counter and onto my shoes.

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