voxmod.jpg
Vox Mod

Thursday, January 19th

Holocene (via remote)

Since the snow first fell on Monday, the only thing I've left the six block radius of

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I Saw Vox Mod Play Portland's Holocene Last Night Even Though We Were Both Snowed In

voxmod.jpg
Vox Mod

Thursday, January 19th

Holocene (via remote)

Since the snow first fell on Monday, the only thing I've left the six block radius of my neighborhood for was to go to a show (Tuesday night's Wolves in the Throne Room concert). Otherwise, we've got everything we need right here, and our house even happens to sit on top of a wicked sledding hill. The last couple days, though, the snow was enough that shows were getting cancelled left and right, and as long snow days creep into night, cabin fever starts setting in. Seattle electronic musician Vox Mod (aka Scott Porter) was set to play Portland's Holocene last night, but found himself also snowed in. He decided to do the show anyway, remotely, via streaming his set to ustream and having the guys down at Holocene run him into the sound system and project him onto the wall. I didn't even have to leave the couch.

Live streaming concerts is nothing new, although it usually goes in reverse--the guys at Moe Bar running live streams from Coachella on their bar's TVs, for instance. Vox Mod's remote set rather referred all the way back to Future Sound of London's pioneering live ISDN broadcasts of the mid '90s. And while it's far from my ideal way to experience a performance, it definitely had its own special charms.

Porter was set up in his dimly lit apartment, sat at a table behind his gear wearing a cozy looking white sweater, with a desk lamp for a spotlight. He started playing some half-time beats, not dub-step (thank god) but about the same head-nodding tempo range, backed by cool, gassy synth sweeps that occasionally distorted into sounding downright frosty. Porter nodded along and occasionally broke into mild headbanging, his long hair blurring or taking on a stuttering strobe effect thanks to my janker laptop's refresh rates (trippy!), knuckle tats visible when he reached forward into the desk lamp's light to turn a knob. One song, maybe three or four tracks in, was especially nice, an upward synth progression that built into a flurry of jet plane takeoff white noise.

I won't lie: I checked my email, but it was like tabbed browsing on a mufuckin CLOUD, son. There were one or two drop-outs, but every live show has its technical difficulties, and I turned the sound off for just a minute to watch this insane old star-studded megaupload commercial (Swizz Beats? Really?!). But even as my eyes wandered, Vox Mod's set made for a chill background, and I kept checking back to see how he was doing. At one point, during a song's breakdown, I tabbed back and he was just sitting there, hands free, nodding along to the track and making the occasional "bomb dropping" gesture with a free hand, before getting back to his gear and bringing the beat back.

At the end of the set, he quietly thanked everyone for watching his first live broadcast, and thanked the dude's down at Holocene for making it possible, and then the stream cut him off. Total views: 22 (as of last night)--but then, I've seen worse-attended opening acts.

 
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