pictureplaneNEW1.jpg
Pictureplane
Milk Music

Friday January 13th

Chop Suey

Pictureplane

Friday January 13th

Electric Tea Garden

The good news is that Olympia's minor '90s revival--with an

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Milk Music's Triumphant Shredding, Pictureplane's Credible Raving Friday Night

pictureplaneNEW1.jpg
Pictureplane
Milk Music

Friday January 13th

Chop Suey

Pictureplane

Friday January 13th

Electric Tea Garden

The good news is that Olympia's minor '90s revival--with an emphasis in SST and Homestead Records--comes complete with righteous hair farming. Three out of four dudes in rising indie rock outfit Milk Music sport some serious matching long hair, suitable for gathering in a ponytail or hanging in front of the face like a curtain or whipping back and forth during a headbangingly good guitar solo. Maybe I'm going to the wrong shows, but it's been a while since I've seen such a phalanx of locks. That's the good news, the much better news is that Milk Music seriously fucking shred. Over a charged base propulsive drumming and fuzzy bass and guitar thrash, singer/guitarist Alex Coxon's guitar riffs squeal and bend and take off, the kind of leads that rightly elicited hollers from the audience and even the odd tongue-stuck-out guitar face from Coxon.

Coxon's singing was less strangulated than on their recordings, more open-throated emoting less lost in the muffle, although this made for a few forgivably cracked notes on the higher reaching parts. The show was running late, and after just four songs (including one string change into a jam into a proper song) the sound guy's voice said, "got time for one more." The band insisted on two more ("that means you can't tune anymore," someone wagged), but I think the crowd would have gone for more still.

Caught a few minutes of Broken Water's alternately clean and sludgy drones, but had to pop across the way to Electric Tea Garden for Pictureplane at Second Sight. Second Sight, if you hadn't heard, is the monthly goth rave thrown by TJ Cowgill (of metal/occult-inspired apparel company Actual Pain) and friends, and as cool as "monthly goth rave" sounds, it's actually one of the best dance nights going right now. The kids dress up, the DJs play everything from industrial tracks I'm too much of a noob to recognize to goofy (but legitimately sick) cuts like the Prodigy's "Firestarter" (seriously, that bass drop still makes up for all the bi-hawks in the world), and the party reliably goes off.

The Second Sight crew have started the year with a pair of impressive bookings, as well. Next month is gloomy synth poppers Cold Cave, whose Cherish the Light Years was one of my top albums of 2011 and whose show in the cozy confines of ETG should be insane. On Friday, it was Denver electro bro Pictureplane (aka Travis Egedy), who when he's not publishing oblique "manifestos" about gloves or tripping on top of pyramids has also made time to model for Actual Pain.

If you detect a note of derision, fair enough: I haven't thought much of Pictureplane's couple albums, I'm not taken in by the overall aesthetic, and the last time I saw him play--some time ago at the Vera Project--it was pretty unimpressive. I'm still not bumping his albums at home or rushing out to buy my own parental advisory hat, but I will say this: it could be that the safe, sober all-ages environment of the Vera Project (bless them) might not be the best place to enjoy Pictureplane's DIY rave antics. At ETG, though, it was perfect. Egedy set up a table for his live PA in the middle of the floor, so that a few enthusiastic dancers became his backdrop (from a couple girls who kept teetering dangerously close to his gear to one guy modelling a slick new Actual Pain pentagram polo). And although a friend reported some clipping, Pictureplane's tunes sounded great--straight 4/4 housier than on record, with the live vocals cut up and swirled into the mix rather than leading the songs. It could be that, in the old drug parlance, "set and setting" have a lot to do with whether or not you're going to dig Pictureplane--and in that regard Second Sight was ideal.

 
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