My cell photos of Light Asylum were awful. Instead, please enjoy this Gattaca VHS cover and imagine you are at Q having the most fun.
I went to Decibel Festival for the first time ever (on purpose) on Friday! Since I generally get lost in the electronic realm more so than any other genre (Where are you supposed to start? Is there really a sub-genre called Night Bus? Who here is kidding me?), I was a little apprehensive.
First, I located a Deci-date who is part human, part computer: the one and only Bankie Phones (aka Frankie Crescioni, local producer and GIF-maker). He recommended we check out the Neumo's for Light Asylum, who luckily I've a.) heard of, and b.) been meaning to see.
We walked into Neumos as another band was playing—four or five members, all dressed in black, the front-woman wore suspenders and had an interesting accent. They played regular instruments, but had some seriously banal lyrics and a sort of shimmering/uplifting folk-y tendency I just don't get down with. One minute in, Frankie said, "are we in the right place?" We were. I looked it up and found the band was called Young Galaxy, an "indie pop/dream pop" group from Canada, which explains a lot (except for maybe why they were there). I quizzed Frankie on how their music was considered electronic, and he replied, "It. Isn't." They ended with some emotional/offensive tambourine playing; I went to wait in the bathroom line where ladies wobbling on all varieties of substances shrieked, texted, slurred, and gave bad advice ("He's serrrssly an assshole! But you'rrre good with assholes, so maaaybe it workss.") I made a mental note to be home by midnight.
BUT THEN, as promised, Light Asylum took the stage and even their soundcheck—"CUNT! CUNT! CUNT!"—was riveting. Ex-Seattelite Shannon Funchess, as you are probably already aware, is an absolute badass performer. Like Grace Jones/flat-top-era Jax from early Mortal Kombat with a pinch of Annie Lennox and Tina Turner, she bellowed with arms outstretched and beat an electronic drum kit as her touring sidekick, Raphael Radna, synthed stoically. The first couple songs were a little rough (due to the sound being a little off at first?), but the set gained intensity and kept it cracking the entire time. A dude next to me in a giant frizzy mohawk headbanged and somehow our dance-moves synched up in a way that made it seem like we were going steady for three songs. Frankie informed me that their last song, "A Certain Person," was the track they had.
After someone put Led Zeppelin on the house speakers, we skipped over to Q where the music was more or less what I expect when I think of no-bullshit dance music. I asked Frankie the genre, and he said "techno—straight-up regular techno." I've only been inside Q a handful of times, and a nightclub that futuristic is definitely in it's element when packed to the gills with shiny-eyed neon lovelies. We danced and mingled in the mirrored bathroom (you can seriously hang out in there) like it was Gattaca. It occurred to me that maybe I should have wrangled some appropriate drugs (thought crime!) to better interact with the neons, but it turns out that 1,000 beers has the desired effect anyway. I tired to observe what made a DJ = a good DJ (bringing everything down so you can be a hero when it comes back up?), stopped trying to understand and had a great time anyway, and finally got home at 4:30am with a purse full of parmesan Goldfish crackers.
"I saw a shirtless old man raving so hard, it made me uncomfortable with my own mortality." —Bankie Phones