all words: Katie Glanz
all photos: Jordan Edwards
Who’s into incomprehensible experimental indie-rock? NOT this girl! Sorry, Thom Yorke doesn’t turn me on and I think Pitchfork is pretentious. Maybe that’s why I left The No Age/Holy Fuck show feeling a little underwhelmed.
Don’t get me wrong, I love some Holy Fuck. My SOP this past summer involved way too much lying in the sun, while blocking out the world-headphones in-listening to Latin (Holy Fuck’s most recent album). Plus, any band that can produce electronic jams like “Lovely Allen” and “1MD” without the use of programmed tracks or a laptop deserves serious praise.
Holy Fuck’s sound is utterly unique; their raw electronic/synth music is a rarity in the dance music scene, which is populated by forgettable indie-pop acts.
I had very high expectations for Friday’s show, and while I wasn’t completely disappointed, at the end of their set, I just wasn’t left with the urge to gleefully exclaim “HOLY FUCK!” And, in a way, isn’t this what I was promised?
Friday night, Holy Fuck’s instrumental back-to-the roots electro sounds rang out over a steady hypnotic backbeat in a way that did stir wonder in the crowd, and quite possibly the incredible urge to smoke a bowl, or five. It was very cool to watch those guys slink around on stage amid flashing blue lights, manipulating random noise generators, key boards, and other strange musical contraptions.
Their performance of the impressive “Lovely Allen” was a crowd favorite, and some of the more obscure songs like “Casio Bossa Nova” bordered on mesmerizing. There was a moment when I was…a little bored; I mean I had heard so much about the awesomeness of Holy Fuck live, but I just didn’t find their performance to be as breathtaking as I had hoped. I still really enjoy this band, and what they do to inspire a crowd. We all wanted to dance, but were compelled just to move.
If you haven’t heard it yet, well then, you should listen to “1MD” (Preferably while lying naked on beach.)
If No Age brought out what was left of the remains of the DC punk scene, then I am afraid…It’s a good thing this apparently wasn’t the case. As soon as I had uttered something to the effect of “Yeah, it’s a punk band from California,” to a friend of mine from LA at Friday’s show, I was pretty much schooled in the dangers of whipping out the “P” word in DC. My friend informed me that No Age wasn’t as much a punk band as a no-wave or thrash/post-punk band. OOOH, OK.
After a few songs from No Age, I understood what she was saying. While tunes like “My Life’s Alright Without You,” were definitely “punk-ish” and had the crowd moshing (a little tamely maybe), it’s clear that No Age’s hazy surf-rock sound draws from an array of musical influences. “Every Artist needs a Tragedy” made me smile. Think of peaceful ocean sounds followed by distorted thrashy/punk madness, yeah, pretty incomprehensible and totally interesting.
I wish I had the patience/(edginess?) to have gotten more into No Age’s set. The moshers and those versed in noise/punk rock probably did. Unfortunately, on a mellow Friday night, I don’t want to work for my musical enjoyment. On that particular night, I wanted songs, hooks, and just a little less thrash/distortion. Wrong place, wrong time. No fault of No Age; they put on a sweet show for their fans who obviously enjoyed their perplexing (maybe overrated?) tunes.
Check out the single “Glitter” from their soon-to-be-released album Everything in Between.