by Jeff Milo
I was talking to a friend about the artist's experience and he underlined the vitality of being able to hand something to the audience, the viewer, the listener, the reader.
Iron Man will zoom through space and cars will explode in 3-D in front of your eyes but the moment will flake by, won't stick to your wall and you likely won't take your special-glasses home with you and the popcorn you scarfed will probably just hurt your heart.
Sheesh, one's brain flashes violently like a light-bulb's mini-super-nova-burn-out when you consider just how many songs are out there on the Internet, right now, that you could be listening to... Store it, download it, take it with you on your smartphone...
Thus, in this age of oh-just-send-me-the-bandcamp-stream -or- well do you have a youtube clip or something? -we have seen an uptick in preserving music as experience - and more caution against the potential for profligation in the Internet, dashing songs and artistic-out-put out like confetti so quickly sucked up and away by the DirtDevil of rampant distraction.
I don't see the live show -as a weekly ceremony, however modest- as ever becoming quaint, no matter how many songs stream by us in our ear phones through those podcasts or status-update-swaps or exclusive-tweets. Computers can make Battleships blow up at the multiplex and Rolling Stone can share the most glitzy, cinematic-quality music video by the next-new-thing but it just seems like nothing's shocking when it's up on that screen, whatever screen.
It doesn't stick.
So when the week's ride starts winding down, when you get out of work and head to the club - you better be rattled.
Last night - two of Detroit's premier packs of musical astonishment performed -one, Pupils at the New Dodge in Hamtramck, and the other, Human Eye at PJ's Lager House. That's the thing: if you've seen either of these bands once... then you'll remember them... There's ferocity to their sets, to say the least - punk theatricality - dark noises embraced - caution to the wind as an MO - spilling off the stage is unavoidable - falling onto (or hugging or sliming) an audience member is just par for the course.
And the music, a spooky oscillation of doom-twanged surf-rock grooves for Pupils' case ...or a buzzsawed-bubblegum-pop ricocheting around some ultraviolent space-rock asteroid field -for Human Eye's case... the music never stops amidst their chaotic ballets, thus that your ears, your eyes and your touch (...and hey, sometimes, even your nose) will all be stung - your sense of what live rock shows entail will be stretched out and rubber-banded back to you, snapping you between the eyes.
That's a very long way of telling you that - more and more bands have figured out how badly we need to be shaken, rattled and rolled - with the un-ordinary
That could be Pupils....
Or NY-based Japanese anime-themed melee of silly superhero punk - Peelander-Z - Take the Power Rangers and spin them in a blender with DEVO and Scott Pilgrim and flex it with an Amino-Acids-esque dedication to their theatrics and...then, unavoidably, splash in garrish amounts of giddy day glo and punk-ishly fast songs and you've got something close to Peelander-Z -
Presentation... seems to be the name of the game. Make it memmorable.
Sound, fury, weirdness... memorable.