Line Out Music & the City at Night

Friday, October 5, 2012

Six Organs of Admittance at the Crocodile

Posted by on Fri, Oct 5, 2012 at 4:09 PM

  • 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).

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.


Comments (3) RSS

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I saw this show, and also had never seen Six Organs live before, but have several albums and love love love the newest Ascent (especially since I'm a huge CoF fan). I was in town on a vacation, so I didn't know what to expect from the venue/crowd/opening bands. The crowd was impressibly mellow, almost seeming like they were watching a not-too-exciting fireworks display. But hey, I was the outsider here, and almost the only one without some kind of facial hair or tattoos.

Low Hum was pretty good, though I only caught the last 3 or so songs. I did recognize the last song they announced as "written by a friend of mine" as an Earth song from a recent album. They did it justice.

Master Musician's I had heard of, but never heard; And according to what I read, they are genius', or at least they on the short list to becoming genius. Of course in reality it's a pretty subjective term, and though I could hear snippets of interesting sounds, their set left me thinking they might be better on record. More arty than farty, even through the shrouds of fog and cloth, I didn't hear anything mind or ass-blowing. Even their attempt at closing with a cover of "Ladytron" was a giant miss.

Six Organs were amazing, and though I had high expectations with it being an electric show, I still was surprised at how great Ben and crew were live. They played a lot of stuff from the recent Ascent album, so it was clear they were still pretty amped on the recent reunion of sorts (even without the other Ben and Ethan). At times, it seemed like Ben was in danger of taking over sonically, but far from vamping behind the star, the band was keeping the groove strong and erect.

I'd agree with the above comments about Ben being on fire when playing his guitar, and I felt like he was channeling Mizutani from Les Rallizes Denudes with his tones and rhythms, even if he wasn't trying to (especially if he wasn't trying to). Would have loved their set to be longer, but at least I had the chance to see them live.
Posted by Neal Neal Bo Beal on October 9, 2012 at 2:46 PM · Report this
Either the dry ice actually succeeded in rendering Mitchell indistinct or you just captioned a picture of Noel Von Harmonson
Posted by Dead C on October 10, 2012 at 11:12 AM · Report this
Kathy Fennessy 3
@1 Agree with you about Ben. @2 You're right.
Posted by Kathy Fennessy on October 15, 2012 at 11:57 AM · Report this

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