Sunday, May 20, 2012

Review: Psychfest

I went to a psychedelic music festival and a punk rock show broke out.  Carnal Torpor, a band with which I had no familiarity, blew my mind in a most unpsychedelic fashion. 

A bunch of shirtless guys, the band made a sonic racket that fell somewhere in the small space in which Minor Threat, Dan Deacon and Tool overlap.  A dude resembling Dave Navarro hammered away at several instruments including one that looked like jerry-rigged loom.

The singer reeked to high heaven, a fact not lost on anyone in the basement of the FOKL Center.  A riveting presence, he shrieked in frustration, slathered himself in a dark, glue-like substance, decorated himself with foil, flayed at (and usually missed) a cymbal, banged on the rafters and slam danced and fought with a couple of confederates.

I don't know if Carnal Torpor is capable of transferring the same chaotic energy to a setting more conventional than a basement in Kansas City, Kansas, but the fifty people who witnessed its 30-minute set know that the theatrical performance was extraordinary.

Nothing else I heard was nearly as memorable, though I was impressed by DJ Memo, a man who clearly understands that the Geto Boys and Duke Ellington are part of the same continuum.  I also liked the set by one-man-band CS Luxem.  It was enhanced by projected footage of an American Royal Parade from the '90s.  The backdrop for the upstairs stage was similarly effective.  A collection of boxes had been painted white.  A light show specifically constructed for the structure was very impressive.

About 125 people- over half of whom were participating musicians and their friends- were present during the two hours I spent at Psychfest.  The laughably pretentious attitudes and inane amateurism displayed by a couple dozen nitwits were offset by the graciousness of a handful of genuinely groovy, far-out people.

Me too! I'm also excited about Killer Mike's new album.

The Liquor Buddies is Steve Wilson's new band.

Kansas City Click: The KC Sound Collective appears at the RecordBar on Sunday.

Creed plays the Midland on Monday and Tuesday.

Tracii Guns appears at Aftershock on Wednesday.

The Dirty Dozen Brass Band top Thursday's bill at Crossroads KC.

(Original image of CS Luxem by There Stands the Glass.)

No comments: