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Monday, June 23, 2008

Tonight in Music: US Air Guitar, Plants and Animals, Dysrhythmia

posted by on June 23 at 10:55 AM

2006 NY US Air Guitar Champion William Ocean
US Air Guitar
(Chop Suey) Since 2003, US Air Guitar has scoured the nation for the best air guitarists in the country, whittling them down to one representative to compete against the world’s best in Oulu, Finland. This is the first Seattle competition, but between our concentration of real guitarists and techies with Guitar Hero/Rock Band setups, there’s definitely a champion in our midst fit to represent the region at the nationals. All we have to do is drop the too-cool-for-school attitude for a night and remember that air guitar is about embracing our inner idiot, and doing so with style. Most of the time it’s about keeping it real, but in this case it’s about keeping it really, really fake. DONTE PARKS
Plants and Animals - “Good Friend” (Live)
Plants and Animals, Night Canopy, the Quiet Ones
(Nectar) Plants and Animals’ Parc Avenue is an exhausting, fantastic journey. Opening track “Bye Bye Bye” (my personal favorite) is a huge, sweeping Flaming Lips–meets–Polyphonic Spree number. “Faerie Dance” sounds like dusk in the forest: Fast-picked guitars dance under breathy vocals and minimal drums, the instrumentation slowly builds, and after two minutes the song turns louder and darker, with strings more clunky than graceful and piano that pounds instead of prances. “Mercy” takes on gospel, “Keep It Real” is more guitar- driven rock, and closer “Guru” is a seven-minute instrumental with a racing, organic beat supporting impressive guitar work. Plants and Animals have no idea what kind of music they want to make, so they make it all, magically, and without sounding confused or contrived. MEGAN SELING
Dysrhythmia - “My Relationship”
Dysrhythmia, Barefoot Barnacle, Hunab Ku, As Dead as O-ren
(Studio Seven) Chances are good that the three members of Dysrhythmia are better musicians than you, and they’ll spend the entirety of their set drilling that notion into your skull with their energized prog-metal instrumental compositions. For some folks, that kind of showmanship is completely satisfying. Others might find it engaging for about 45 seconds and then simply grating for the remainder of the performance. Nothing wrong with falling into either camp, but for those unfamiliar with the band, you can probably figure out where you stand based on whether you prefer hypermusicianship or subtlety. Fans of the latter: consider yourselves warned. BRIAN COOK

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