Titwrench Night at Glob, 9/6/13
Tom Murphy Titwrench 2013: Dangerous Nonsense at Glob
TITWRENCH 2013 at GLOB | 9/6/13
As if embodying a bit of the spirit of the event, Dangerous Nonsense donned costumes that evoked Russian punk band Pussy Riot. And like the latter, the former outfit performs with an intensity that elevates what some might see as pure theatrics. But then you could hardly pick a better way to convey the meaning behind the band's words. It's interesting seeing a band like this performing like they're playing to a silent movie camera with exaggerated gestures executed perfectly.
From music theater melodicism to an aggressive death metal style, Shannon Weber doesn't hold back with her vocals or likewise with her body movement, which match every utterance. Harmony Star's bass goes from clipped yet sinuous bass rhythms that recall Crass to velvety, psychedelic tones processed in richly varied ways. The straight-ahead percussion of Sarah Miller's drumming was flavored with tasteful textural accents. The best song of the set was something new, a tune presumably called "Cat Killer," a haunting evocation of an abusive personality or that voice within abusing ourselves emotionally.
Tom Murphy Titwrench 2013: Suzie Q. Smith at Glob
Earlier in the evening, Suzie Q. Smith did some spoken word that had some musical rhythm to it, even if it wasn't strictly musical in a traditional sense. As someone who's heard her share of the low-rent, covert racism over the years, Smith spoke eloquently to that racial tension, and she also spoke poetic truths about other aspects of the human condition.
Tom Murphy Titwrench 2013: Bigawatt at Glob
Albuquerque experimental band Bigawatt was also one of the highlights of the evening, with Marisa Demarco on vocals, bass and various electronic devices, including a child's musical toy that created fascinatingly vibrant, melodic synth lines and a looper, while Cthulha played processed cello. The group began with a song that had a noisy, distorted vocal over flowing low end provided by the cello. It was processed through at least one delay, so that it felt like a continuous wave of bass tones.
For another number, Demarco sampled her voice and harmonized with herself. It was the sort of thing heard on Bigawatt's excellent 2012 album. The most surprising part came with the final piece, which DeMarco said was written for another band that hadn't played out yet. It was ambient in a way that recalled Windy & Carl using a bit more white noise, while the cello player trickled out rivulets of ethereal, high-register tones. Demarco, meanwhile, pulled cassette tape through a device that read it almost as elongated record scratching when hooked up.
Keep reading for more on night two of Titwrench 2013