Monday, April 30, 2018

Phosphene On The Move

28 APRIL 2018

Away from the bustle of the state capitol, Sacramento, the college town of Davis is nestled, abutting the UC Davis campus. Having been hipped awhile back by the good folks at The Owl Mag, the time was finally ripe to check out Sophia's Thai Kitchen. Spring is here, and proprietor Kevin Wan got the ball rolling on another season of live music on the patio of Sophia's, and we made the road trip up.

Phosphene came up from the Bay Area, making a rare appearance in a time of transition, pending a move to Portland, and before embarking to the studio to record a new LP. Performing as a duo live for the first time, (with bassist Kevin currently on a sojourn in Japan), Rachel and Matt worked through a intimate set, mixing old favorites like "Metric" and "Wire" plus new material, with "PDA" standing out strong. One usually gets lost in the totality of the band's sound, and this was a great opportunity to appreciate and marvel at the individual contributions of the players. Old friends, sublime music, and a full belly, one could not ask for a better Saturday night...

Monday, February 26, 2018

Destination: Darkness... Chasms Live

24 FEBRUARY, 2018

When I first met the ladies of Chasms, (was it really five years ago?), they charmingly self-referenced as "The 2nd Loudest Band In San Francisco". Witnessing their live shows, it was apparent that we were a long way from Baltimore, and charm was decidedly off menu. Concocting a stew of feedack and beat-driven dirges, their starting point was Out, and then they went further. A connection with Felte Records yielded their most recent work, 2016's On The Legs Of Love Purified, and that relationship looks set to continue as they embark on recording a new LP. 

Our treat this evening was a first visit to Zebulon, a delightful hideaway in the stern shadow of nearby I-5. The back room dance floor easily converted into a cozy dark cave, purpose-fit for the night. The band recently marked a year in their new home of LA, and refinement was the key takeaway, performance-wise. While they've evolved sonically, the focus remains on trance-like excursions, but the journeys into darkness now heads toward cathartic resolutions, with an emphasis on redemption. The emotional vein that they tap into renders their work a breathing soundtrack to this listener, and years down the road now, Chasms continue to grow and inspire.