Monday re-cap: A great weird start to the summer

And when I say “weird” I’m referring to Soloing Over Alanis Morissette, from Chicago, whom Monday sound man/DJ Kyle Mabson and I have been fascinated with for quite some time but had never met. In person SOAM was more intensely strange—and heartfelt—than I ever would have expected.

And I think that description applies to the other bands on the bill, too. Former Ghosts, Bitches, Manicorn, Nicole Kidman—they all have their particular twist on aural reality. But ignore the forms they use to communicate. These performers are all so superb because of the very personal stories they relate through their music.

Dave and Caitlin from Chicago are Soloing Over Alanis Morissette. Dave solos over Morissette on the iPod and Caitlin dances. It’s as straightforward as that. Er, except for the not-so-straightforward feelings of uncomfortability and bafflement that this familiar-yet-alien music scrapes from the bowl of reality.

The intensity with which these two applied themselves made this simple sounding stunt work very very effectively and I think shit like that’s sublime.

And then there was Manicorn, who were also intense and odd, though far more conventional musically. I was really impressed by their antics. They put on a show. Their songs are punk rock and I was totally into that too. Awesome.

Nicole Kidman is Jon Barba and he is a bit of a genius. Why? Ever since the 1980’s there has been this subgenre of modern music that has been really proud to be pop culture-obsessed and kind of jokey/clever. But I don’t think stuff like that generally stands the test of time. Jon skirts that novelty area but he is waay more real. I mean, he’s the realest. “I Eat and I Cry”…classic.

This night Barba seemed more light-hearted than normal. It was great to see him smile. He switched between keyboard and guitar and even got iced.

I am already probably too hugely over-enthusiastic about certain bands and groups so I try to avoid making predictions about future success, etc. But…I have a feeling about Jon Barba. However things work out, he’s clearly on a creative roll right now so I hope he keeps doing what he wants to do.

Ah my Bitches, such nice folks. Punk/weird/surprising/from the heart—all these terms apply to Staz and Blake as well. Oh, and GREAT FUCKING SONGS!

I had billed the night as a “homecoming” for Freddy Ruppert, and indeed it was the first night back in town after a long Former Ghosts European tour.

In case you can’t tell from the photos, Ruppert was not a happy camper this night. He was truly upset—and I hope things are okay.

But the show must go on. Freddy is really tough that way—especially considering the emotional fragility expressed in his music (or because of it?). He was red hot on Monday and left a lot of people with that same impression that you get from Nicole Kidman: magic is at work here. Pay attention.

See the complete photos here

Don’t miss the Cochina After Party this Monday—you’re invited!

Nora Keyes
No Babies
John Thill

Starts 9:30pm / $5 / all-ages

Pehrspace—325 Glendale Blvd., in Historic Filipinotown

See you there?

Read part 1 of our Cochina preview

Read part 2

Attend Cochina Fest June 5-6—click here for the full info

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