#WMS 2012 recap: Rooster & Moon
Eric Gruneisen A Mouthful of Thunder performing at the Rooster & Moon at the Westword Music Showcase.
Every year, for the Westword Music Showcase, we enlist our army of Backbeat wordsmiths to host various stages, and, in addition to their emcee obligations, we ask them to pull double duty (or triple-duty in some cases) and also write up the acts that appear on their individual stages. Mark Sanders hosted the Rooster & Moon stage. Page down to read his thoughts and see some photos.
Eric Gruneisen Alphabets performing at Rooster & the Moon during the Westword Music Showcase.
The monkey noises over programmed beats should've made it clear to anybody within earshot that Alphabets, who got things started at Rooster and Moon, makes challenging music. The set was full of Space Invader accents, looped tribal beats and plain-spoken lyrics about Satan, death and getting paid.
Eric Gruneisen Kevin Costner Suicide Pact performing at Rooster & Moon during the 2012 Westword Music Showcase.
Kevin Costner Suicide Pact -- with a name like this, you know shit's gonna get weird real quick. KCSP didn't let the tiny afternoon audience here down, either, interspersing samples of god-knows-what with gently strummed electric guitar and a truckload of reverb. This is meditative music, something best enjoyed in, say, a very dark room with a glass of red wine: It's slowcore music for fans who are burned out on their Mogwai records.
Eric Gruneisen Men In Burka performing at Rooster & the Moon during the Westword Music Showcase.
Men in Burka is a three-piece with a mutual flair for Bollywood melodies. As the crew bounced around, they were clearly having a blast. Odd as the setting was -- they were playing in the middle of the day at a coffee shop, whereas the music would've been better suited for late night in a club -- Men in Burka pulled it off well. No singing here, though the heavy synth-bass more than compensated for the sparseness of the set. The set ended much like it began: all mid-tempo and pulsating.
Eric Gruneisen Iuengliss performing at Rooster & the Moon during the Westword Music Showcase.
The third and final electronic set of the day was provided by Iuengliss, led by Tom Metz, whose love for hip-hop genius GZA was apparent throughout the half-hour performance. Metz's samples were tastefully chosen, weaving in '90s R&B hooks with snippets of hard-to-identify rhymes that seemed to come from the hull of a large oil tanker.
Eric Gruneisen Randy Ramirez of the Heyday performing at Rooster & the Moon during the Westword Music Showcase.
Randy Ramirez of the Heyday is a songwriter with a capital "S." The mid-afternoon set was a (perhaps unconscious) ode to great '70s singers like Jackson Browne. Ramirez's demeanor came across well, and could have made even the most cynical listener's heart melt a little. "Good Old Days" was especially well done, and Ramirez's singing and solo acoustic guitar-playing was flawless.