I had a great time at the Throbbing Gristle and Emeralds show last night. I enjoyed the combination of the enjoyable music and the opportunity to see some many different friends at the show, including lots of out-of-towners, some more recent "re-connects," and some mind-blowing blasts-from-the-past... as I pretty much expected.
The first TG set -- their new soundtrack for Derek Jarman's "In The Shadow of The Sun" -- sounded nice, but it made me think how in the nearly 30 years since they recorded the original version, so many people have entered this field... and how many people that I personally know who are recording, performing, and releasing this sort of soundscape -- and doing it as well, or better. I admit that I was a bit distracted as it went on, but during a climactic point when the bass and maybe the volume kicked in, I was fairly well snapped back to attention. As I have seen the film several times over the years, and as the four members of TG were seated and barely visible, it was admittedly not the most compelling thing for me to watch. But it did sound good.
Emeralds were a great choice to open for TG's second set and it was great to hear Steve, John, and Mark over the big PA at Logan Square Auditorium. Similarly, after a maye-too-quiet start, they had a boost in volume during their set that really seemed to help keep people focused. I thought that the crowd responded well to them and I have to assume that they made a lot of new fans.
A TG "greatest hits" set seems like an oxymoron, in a sense, and against what the live TG experience once was all about. But their track selection was pretty great, and like other people that I spoke with, it was cool to hear them launch right into "Very Friendly." The modern sound applied to these well-worn songs worked pretty well for me. I was sort of fearing a bit too much of a house-tinged, "Mutant TG" style, so I was pleasantly surprised by how they translated these songs to a 2009 application. The only mis-step for me was "Hamburger Lady," which lacked all of the menace of the original. I think in that case, I would have tolerated a pre-recorded loop of the creepy, "staccato" noise that makes that song a standout in their catalog.
A few of us did a pre-show Kuma's trip and I revisited the Lynyrd Skynyrd -- but substituded regular bacon for the Canadian bacon that did not thrill me the last time. The results were excellent!
Today brought a fun trip to downtown Oak Park to try out the Klay Oven location out there. The buffet was really tasty, even if the selection was smaller than the one at the River West restaurant. We took in some Frank Lloyd Wright houses and made a general day of it. Nice! I was also pleased to discover this hopefully-tasty little Croatian treat at a shop there, which I will test out for breakfast tomorrow: