Yoda's House at Rhinoceropolis, 11/06/10
With Married in Berdichev • Hot White • Hideous Men
11.06.10 | Rhinoceropolis
Things got started fashionably late at Rhino with Married in Berdichev. The first song sounded for all the world like a Brittany Gould original, with all the gorgeously lush and delicately textured grandeur enveloping you like a projected daydream chasing away mundane reality. But Gould later revealed that she was covering noted Tempe, Arizona songwriter Stephen Steinbrink, himself covering Arthur Russell.
The rest of the set was more familiar, but no less entrancing with Gould exercising an emotional intensity that most people would express through cries of frustration, outrage or fear. Gould, however, has distilled such expressions into ululating tones over a tapestry of treated vocal loops feeding back to create sea of tones and textures. There's really nothing like it, and we're lucky to have someone of that caliber of creative sophistication here in Denver.
Yoda's House is changing its name to Then Eats Them, and the bulk of the material performed this night came from the band's newly released tape, from which the act derives its new moniker, Then Eats Them. For the tour, the band created a video projection specifically featuring some recontextualized commercial footage and manipulated scenes from an animated dinosaur video and Land of The Lost -- the '70s version, not the far inferior most recent versions.
Yoda's House is one of the few outfits that know how to make the otherworldly sound organic and immediate. "Black Friday," it's most haunted song, was the sonic equivalent of a bracing blast of cold air -- not chilling so much as making the brain tingle with the sense of impending disaster heard hovering in its layered stream of sounds.
The drums both grounded the rhythm and provided textural elements, while the guitar was never melodic so much as a rhythmic noise generator on its own, like a synthesizer with an undeniably physical presence. At several points, the music sounded like what a soundtrack to a movie version of William Hope Hodgeson's The Night Land might be like: part avant-garde rock, ambient, jazz, outsider folk, all underpinned by non-western musical elements. Overall, Yoda's House was singularly impressive for its obvious imagination and talent in execution.