Cool in Two Versions
March 11, 2010
If the guy next to you in your 10th grade math class, the guy with the creepy sticky mop of hair and bad vacation spot t shirt with his desk inexplicably at a crooked angle next to you, told you one day in an uncalled for confidence…. This:
“I’m gonna build a jazz band machine of cymbals, xylophones and prepared pianos all trigered by my chorus pedal infused guitar soloing…and it’s going to change everything”
a) move to the next available desk
b) ask him where he buys his weed
c) secretly steal his plan if only you had basic knowledge machinery
d) a little from all the above
Well? That geeky kid went on to find a life altering passion while you were studying half heartedly your life-approved major, and somewhere along the way, after an impacting career of ground breaking improvisational music that reached millions, he became…Pat Metheny. And he built a machine this year. Wait for it …. The ORCHESTRION.
A devilish and incompressible to the average mind technological wonder. A full orchestra machine that plays and responds to his every whim. And it plays a whole record ! And whole tour!
Seems like the perfect connundrum; the chemistry a musician strives for and feels at moments with others is only a mirror of what he/she feels in a dream symbiosis with one’s self, and self’s musicals impulses and meanderings. The perfect perfection. But is it narcissism gone too far? Is it inhuman of this music to be so solitaire, to cheat its way to the ideal band chemistry? For who has played in a band and not been terrified of never being able to cultivate that feeling between members? That sounded dirty haha…so why not only entertain relationships in that case with…yourself?
Here is a demo of his genius/madness: ORCHESTRION VIDEO
On the other hand, last night I saw a band play evoking just the opposite feeling amongst themselves, and roping in every audience member into their cool California family glee. A now very sought after secret in the industry, Family of the Year broke out the best psychadelic Dylan modern pop I have heard since The Brian Jonestown Massacre. With beach-style harmonies that make you fall in love (every band member looks like a model, so take your pick)They knew they were good ,yes. They knew they looked good, yes. But most of all, they liked each other. Or at least on stage. They radiated great songs and arrangements by virtue of their imperfect connection. They delivered unbridled stunning fucking up. They played like devils and angels in bed together forever and never let it stop, probably cause they don’t know how. A little pretentious? Maybe. Unbelievably consuming? Definitely. Check out this next big band of troubadours, they seem to put family, music, business and love all first, a rather crowded frontline.