Thursday, April 26, 2007

Open Ears Festival: April 26

I decided to save my energy and my sanity by not going to Morton Feldman: For Philip Guston, a four-hour, three-musician, extremely minimal and meditative and slow performance. I'm not a very meditative person so I probably would have gotten jittery. From what I hear I didn't miss much.

Instead I walked through the dark, rainy, and deserted back alleys of Kitchener to see:

10:30 PM - Barnyard Drama

Another improv quartet, but instead of being cool as cucumbers, every member of Barnyard Drama brought out their inner autistic. As always it's a matter of "getting into a groove" and, at the beginning, Christine Duncan annoyed me. I'm not much for Rainman postures and vocalizations, and all I could concentrate on was how much she sounded like gibberish guy from "How's Your News" ("Ahh-by! Ah-boy'en boy ahh-by! Ahh-by'en boy-ya by!") and how much I disliked her toilet-cover hat.

But she won me over. They all did. Gospel/jazz improvs with just a touch of silliness, another kick-butt drummer (Jean Martin, not a hobbit tonight), guitarists Bernard Falaise & Justin Haynes (who fell into a GORGEOUS underwater surf-guitar duet near the end), and a big tent revival as an encore. Most importantly they knew when to quit: an hour was all we got out of them.

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