Wolves in the Throne Room, Zebulon Pike & others at Triple Rock

Friday (May 15th) night Wolves in the Throne Room played at the Triple Rock in Minneapolis. The show was amazing and transformed the familiar tropes of metal into an apocalyptic pagan ritual. The music –– propulsive and trance inducing — possessed the audience… flailing bodies, devil signs, and flying hair became part of a mass magical invocation… or an eschatological funerary rite for a dying civilization… Empires, Krallice and Zebulon Pike opened.
Here are a couple of drawings:

Wolves in the Throne Room

Wolves in the Throne Room

Krallice, Zebulon Pike

Throbbing Gristle Live

throbbing gristle

Wreckers of Civilization

Genesis P-Orridge, Peter Christopherson

A few weeks ago Throbbing Gristle played the US for the first time since 1981. I went to two shows: April 16th at Brooklyn Masonic Temple and April 25th at Logan Square Auditorium in Chicago. They didn’t disappoint. I liked the Brooklyn show a lot, despite the marginal sound of the Masonic Temple auditorium and the somewhat unrehearsed nature of the performance. TG is probably one of the few bands that still can sound great under those circumstances. In fact, in many ways, that is what their sound was built on in the early days. They were self-taught artists turned musicians. The Chicago performance was MUCH better. They clearly had several performances to get used to playing together again and it really came across.

Genesis playing violin, Cosey Fanni Tutti on guitar

The sound of the new TG has been swallowed whole by Peter ‘Sleazy’ Christopherson. So much so, that the new incarnation sounds a lot like late Coil (Christopherson’s band with Jhon Balance, RIP) with Genesis on vocals. I’m not sure what Chris & Cosey have been up to lately but musically it really seemed like Peter’s show (at least to my ears). That was fine by me since Coil is quite possibly my favorite group of all time. But still, I missed the raw sound from TG’s early days.

Chris Carter, Genesis

The most interesting aspect of both shows (and I suspect the others as well) was their decision to leave the house lights on. This really didn’t please a certain segment of the audience. Responses ranged from the well-meaning “I think you forgot to turn the house lights off!” to the genuinely pissed-off “turn the fucking house lights off!!!!” It’s amazing how a small thing like that can really subvert audience expectations. Though they’re much older today, TG can still challenge the audience, not by balls-out outrageous behavior but by subtle trickery. I really got a kick out of Genesis’ outfit. It was really amazing to see a whole audience rocking out to a matronly, new-age housewife… but that’s Gen for you.

Emeralds opened in Chicago

I didn’t know who Emeralds were when they opened for TG in Chicago, but their performance made me a lifelong fan.

Throbbing Gristle

See more concert drawings. I am restoring one or two posts per week.

TCAF 2009: Highlights

Yoshihiro Tatsumi signing A Drifting Life at TCAF
TCAF is easily becoming the best event of it’s kind in North America. I shared a table with Mike Dawson and Brett Von Schlosser. The whole event was pretty much non-stop fun. Highlights:

• Even though I was exhausted from a 17 hour drive, the Concepts in Comics panel I was on with Dash Shaw, Jason Shiga and Scott McCloud (moderated by Bill Kartalopoulos) turned out to be a real pleasure and the discussion went off into interesting territory.
‚Ä¢ Frank Santoro‘s 3 boxes of back issues. Frank continues to champion great largely forgotten and under-appreciated comics. I picked-up some Brendan McCarthy and Shaky Kane comic-books. It’s a reminder of the pleasures of flipping through comics in short box and actually finding something interesting‚Ķ except in Frank’s collection everything was interesting.
‚Ä¢ Dan Nadel‘s portfolio full of amazing Yuichi Yokoyma originals.
‚Ä¢ The Doug Wright Awards were a refreshing change of pace from most award events. Only three prizes were awarded! The rest of the event was given over to a discussions of Doug Wright’s cartoon career, the new D&Q book on that subject and a tribute to Canadian great Jimmy Frise.
‚Ä¢ Josh Cotter’s sketchbook.
• Realizing on the second day that Joe Ollmann was our table neighbor.
‚Ä¢ Alec Longstreth’s amazing/terrifying beard!
‚Ä¢ Yoshihiro Tatsumi’s hat.

Here are a few pictures from the event.