Members of Caterpillar, a Philadelphia based indie rock band, held an art performance at Vox Populi Gallery on 3/16/12. Proceeds from the night went to a non-profit that works with young artists. It was a nice warm night and the atmosphere was inviting. Before the set/in-between sets some 78 records were spun & people ate popcorn.
Mike Lenert was set up on the left of the stage with an electric guitar, a cigar box guitar, an array of pedals and instruments used to manipulate the guitar’s sound, ex. a violin type bow. He also had a cd or tape player playing previously recorded sounds which he’d turn on or off. The guitar music was improvised and at times had a bluesy, psychedelic sound, as well as higher tones created with the bow and droning riffs. It was impressive to know the music wasn’t scored to the films because often the sound seemed to coincide with the images.
John McInerney managed the projector, whose 8mm film played a wonderful series of images. The film clips showed varied in content and length. There was no sound from the film, and most were shown in color with some faded hues. He put together the film collage from lot of other found films. Some were dated to 1920s, they ranged in age though. There were beautiful scenes of nature with national park footage, home movies, circus animals, tour guides, children etc…creating a nostalgic, interesting, and playful impression on the viewer.
Elliott Levin posed as band leader for an interesting night of free jazz music featuring Marshall Allen, Denis Beuret, Weasel Walter, and Marc Edwards @ The Rotunda on 3/7/12.
The group set up and began playing around 8:15 to a full crowd. They started right off transforming the silence into a booming orchestrated chaos. At first I wasn’t sure how the unique blend of musicians would work but it flowed nicely. The jazz had a oddly retro circusy/marching band feel at times. They pushed the noise to the extreme with 2 drums too. There was basically 3 long pieces, with barely any time for applause in between songs, for 1hr, then an intermission, then more music. I was only there for the first part though. My favorite piece was wild, noisy, but ended with a nice little melody by the saxophones. Denis Beuret from Switzerland was on the trombone, which was connected by a cord to a laptop that modified its sound. Each individual was able to showcase their strengths. Marshall Allen is a wonderful sax player and quite a suave performer. He also made frequent use of an EWI (electronic wind instrument) a device similar to a soprano sax, creating high tones. The 2 drummers, Weasel Walter and Marc Edwards, played in and out of sync. There was a dialogue, sometimes not. Weasel Walter is an intense drummer to watch, he used snare a lot, whistles and a bunch of hand held percussion. Marc Edwards dealt with the lower frequencies with a tom and bass. Elliott Levin played sax, flute, and did some beat boxing. I liked how he played the flute. The stuff he said was hip and funky but I don’t remember the words because it was more part of the sound, especially when the mic had an effect on it. Great show.