To Elbo Room w/Chris, Nada, Mike to see Banyan — Mike Watt (bass) and Nels Cline (guitar), Stephen Perkins (drums), and a small horn section. Each of these guys has a long and mixed history, but as Watt said to an interviewer, “working in our “song” bands is like sitting alone writing, while Banyan is like conversation.” An outrageously fluid stomping improvisatory conversation. Watt as always solid and rooted and inventive without being quirky and yet abstract but not flighty or airy or particularly difficult. The real deal. Wearing exactly the same plaid shirts, jeans, Converse high tops he wore when I watched him in the Minutemen 20 years ago.

Painter Norton Wisdom improvised paintings behind the band in real time – amazing what he could do with sponges and fingers and some basic red, black, blue ink washes so quickly. Perfect complement. Why are music and painting not more often married? Almost everything tonight mostly improvised, but right in the middle of it all they launch into The Stooges’ “TV Eye.” I can die contented.

Music: Gun Club :: Jack on Fire

3 Replies to “Banyan”

  1. well, i’ve always appreciated and respected minitmin/firehose and a bunch of their labelmates without really being able to dig their music that much (black flag excepted, along with a perhaps few more obscure sst acts). i remember watt’s playing as much more busy and less groove oriented. but last night, he approacehed laswellian grooviusness (laswell remains my benchmark for depth, solidity, and rhythmic sensitivity for deep groove bass). i aldo dug his tone immensely. he doesn’t go for that fusiony treble boosted tone that so many prodigious bass player use to show off their dexterity and make sure you hear the details, so that also made me happy.

    should note that perkins drumming helped the groove along too. he rippin mad whacks yo. makes me wanna dig out my jane’s addiction records.

    and nels is fast rising up the list of my favorite guitarists.

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