six_organs.jpg
  • K.C. Fennessy
  • Ben Chasny on gentle vocals and fiery guitar

I've read mixed reports about Ben Chasny's live appearances as Six Organs of Admittance. I caught him for the first time this past Wednesday, so I can't make any comparisons, but I thought he was pretty great (Travis Ritter says that one of the finest Chasny gigs he witnessed was a solo set in Houston in 2003 or '04).

master_musicians.jpg
  • K.C. Fennessy
  • Bukkake singer with lyric sheet and sulfuric glow

When Dave Segal predicted that Master Musicians of Bukkake would be a hard act to follow, he wasn't kidding, but if Six Organs held their own—and then some—it was an entirely different thing. Though the groups worked well together as part of a shared bill, they played wildly divergent programs, i.e. multi-cultural costumes for Master Musicians, no keyboards or samplers for Six Organs, etc.

six_organs2.jpg
  • K.C. Fennessy
  • Dry ice threatens to render Von Harmonson visually indistinct

In my post about his new album, Ascent, I wrote that it sounded like Chasny was on fire—metaphorically, of course (unlike the stunt man on the cover of Wish You Were Here who really was on fire)—and that's how he played. He was joined by three musicians with whom he enjoyed a telepathic rapport: bassist Andrew Mitchell, drummer Utrillo Kushner, and Sic Alps guitarist Noel Von Harmonson.

According to Chasny's label rep, Mitchell "is the same player that played acoustic guitar with Six Organs last time they played the Crocodile," but there were no acoustic numbers this time around; instead, it was more like Comets on Fire redux—and there's that word "fire" again. Granted, I've never seen Comets live either, but the members played on Ascent, so this isn't as strange as it sounds.

low_hums.jpg
  • K.C. Fennessy

I missed Low Hums, but I'd love to know what they were like, because as far as I'm concerned, they won the merch contest—assuming such a thing even existed. The Master Musicians tees were all right, but they could stand to step it up a notch, particularly in light of their far-out stage show, while Six Organs had no apparel on offer, but the shirt above stopped me in my tracks (the price was a very reasonable $10, but I only had $2 on hand). Leggy ladies, grasshoppers, birds, bikes, and horned dudes—what's not to like? Plus, I've always had a soft spot for ink blot illustrations, and that color scheme makes the look complete.

Six Organs have wrapped up their tour. Tomorrow, Ben heads to Europe with Rangda (Chasny, Sir Richard Bishop, and Chris Corsano). Click here for dates.