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Archive for the ‘Leah Senior’ Category

[ATTENDED: August 30, 2019] King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard [rescheduled from May 22 and then October 22, 2020 and again on October 23, 2021]

After  the previous King Gizzard show in this very venue, I was all set to wait in line for this one.  People arrive very early for the merch.  But when I got there (close to 8), there was no line to get in.  That’s because the merch line was (once again) insanely long.  It went almost to the stage.  In fact, it was unclear who was on line and who was just milling about.  Well, even though I would have liked a poster, I certainly didn’t need to wait in that line (or spend $50).

The show started very late.  While waiting last time, I felt a sense of existential “what’s the point” last time, and I kind of felt this this time.  It’s crowded, it’s hot, we’re just standing here.

And then they came out and all was forgotten.  They launched into Oddlife.  By  the way, the band has released six albums since the last time they played here, so who knew what was coming.  This song featured the “Flying Microtonal Banana” guitar, so there was bound to be a couple more microtonal music.

Up next was “Billabong Valley” on which Ambrose sang (and played guitar).

At some point, all the yahoos who were hanging back started pushing in trying to get into the center for the inevitable pit.  I was really blown away last time at how mobile the KGATLW crowd was.  Slamming, pogoing, bouncing, just full body contact everywhere.  We were all pushed way away from our original position.

After the looming fun of “K.G.L.W.” Stu switched guitars to his new inverted flying V.  Although they had played songs from Infect the Rat’s Nest last time, this time they played two different songs from it, and they inserted the thrashing “Predator X” from Omnium Gatherum which fit perfectly.

Then things slowed down immensely for the mellow acoustic vibe of “Her and I,” the final song on I’m in Your Mind Fuzz.

So far, “Billabong Valley” was the only song they’d played for me before.

Then they began “Crumbling Castle” and the fans went nuts.  It’s one of my favorite songs, but I didn’t know it was everyone’s favorite song (who knows with KGATLW–they have 22 albums out).  “Castle” and “Her and I” take about 20 minutes alone, and this show was turning from a headbanging ball into a jam fest.  Especially when it segued into “The Fourth Colour” also from Polygondwanaland/

Then Ambrose said it was time to dance as they played King Gizzard’s rap song “The Grim Reaper.”  There was much dancing and waving.  And then they segued into “Ice V” the only song from the three albums that they released in October.  It’s probably my favorite track on Ice, Death, Planets, Lungs, Mushrooms and Lava.

Then they called Leah Senior out and she began reciting some of Altered Beast with Leah doing the narration.  In 2018, they had played us Alter Me I and Altered Beast I.  This time it was Alter Me III and Altered Beast IV  It was like the ended the story four years later.

They ended with “Evil Death Roll” a rollicking good time from Nonagon Infinity.  They jammed this out for a pretty long time, throwing in teases from other songs.

Comparing this show to previous shows, the number of songs in significantly lower.  But they really jammed out some songs in the middle, giving this a more psychedelic feel than previous shows.  This in no way stopped the crowd from pushing and shoving and surfing.  Indeed ,some guy was just pushing me, for no reason that I could see–quite hard too–until I asked him to switch places with me.  Which he did.

Despite how much I love them, I decided that I don’t think I’ll be seeing them again.  The crowd is just not my crowd.  Unless they play somewhere else (but there’s really nowhere bigger than Franklin Music Hall) and they keep selling that venue out pretty easily.

 

Franklin Music Hall October 22, 2022 Franklin Music Hall August 30, 2019 Union Transfer June 18, 2018
Oddlife ∑ Planet B ℜ Digital Black ⊗
Billabong Valley ⇔ Perihelion ℜ Vomit Coffin ⊗
K.G.L.W. £ The Great Chain of Being Ω The Lord of Lightning ⊗
Mars for the Rich ℜ Stressin’ ℘ Cellophane β
Predator X Ø I’m in Your Mind β Alter Me I ⊗
Organ Farmer ℜ I’m Not in Your Mind β Altered Beast I ⊗
Her and I (Slow Jam 2) [Iron Lung tease] β Cellophane β Evil Death Roll ∝
Crumbling CastleΔ I’m in Your Mind Fuzz β Billabong Valley ⇔
The Fourth ColourΔ The Balrog ⊗ Nuclear Fusion ⇔
The Grim Reaper Ø Acarine € Rattlesnake ⇔
Ice V ¥ Murder of the Universe ⊗ All Is Known Ω
Alter Me III (with Leah Senior) ⊗ The Bird Song € Crumbling Castle Δ
Altered Beast IV (with Leah Senior) ⊗ Let Me Mend the Past ∼ The Fourth Colour Δ
Evil Death Roll
(Altered Beast & Hypertension teases;
contained elements of Invisible Face)
Billabong Valley ⇔ Deserted Dunes Welcome Weary Feet Δ
Nuclear Fusion ⇔ The Castle in the Air Δ
Doom City ⇔ Muddy Water Ω
All Is Known Ω The Wheel Ω
Boogieman Sam € Robot Stop ∝
Cyboogie € Gamma Knife ∝
Self-Immolate ℜ Some Context ⊗
Hell ℜ

© Changes (2022)
≅ Laminated Denim (2022)
¥ Ice, Death, Planets, Lungs, Mushrooms and Lava (2022)
Ø Omnium Gatherum (2022)
µ Butterfly 3000 (2021)
£ L.W. (2021)
∑ K.G. (2020)
ℜ Infest the Rats’ Nest (2019)
€ Fishing for Fishies (2019)
Ω Gumboot Soup (2017)
Δ Polygondwannaland (2017)
⊗ Murder of the Universe (2017)
Flying Microtonal Banana (2017)
∝ Nonagon Infinity (2016)
β I’m in Your Mind Fuzz (2014)
℘ Oddments (2014)
∼ Float Along – Fill Your Lungs (2013)

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SOUNDTRACK: KING GIZZARD AND THE LIZARD WIZARD-Murder of the Universe (2017)

Every KGATLW album is different.  Including this one.  Murder of the Universe is their second album of 2017.  It is narrative concept album split into three separate stories, each containing elements of spoken word to carry a narrative. The first two chapters feature Leah Senior’s narration, while NaturalReader’s “UK, Charles” text-to-speech application narrates the final chapter.  And it totally rocks.  There’s great riff, distorted guitars and harmonicas and lots of whooping vocals.

There are, essentially three stories on this disc.  The first chapter, The Tale of the Altered Beast, is about a human who stumbles on a mystical human/beast hybrid.  The narration is quite long and deadpan and tells a fairly complex story, which starts:

As soon as the dust settles, you can see
A new world in place of where the old one had been
Your skin is crawling with dry, crusted mud
And your naked feet are wet in a pool of blood
And the whistle of the wind in your ears is so loud
That your memories have blown up in a mushroom cloud
And as your eyes accommodate
There appears by the meadow
A brute like a bear with a long, dark shadow
And you violently shake over what you have seen
As you remember the tale of the Altered Beast

Nearly each of the nine tracks has narration interspersed with singing.  There’s a lot of repeated sections, but more as a thematic choice rather than as repetition.  The titles of the songs are indicative of this: Altered Beast I, II, III and IV and Alter Me I, II and III.  But those parts are not simply repeats.  Rather, they allude to each other with repeated riffs and words.  But even though parts are repeated there are plenty of original riffs throughout.

The third part of “Alter Me” has a cool 80’s sci-fi keyboard sound, which works perfectly before the noisy harmonica returns.

The “Altered Beast” story is the longest part of the story at 19 minutes.  And the final “Altered Beast” part has a very nifty fast section that I believe is in 11/4.

The last track “Life/Death” is very different–keyboard-fueled and almost poppy sounding, this final minute of the story is not a happy one.

The second chapter, The Lord of Lightning vs. Balrog, focuses on a battle between the forces of light of darkness.   And the segue between the two, called “Some Context” references “People-Vultures” from Nonagon Infinity.

It opens with guitarist Joey Walker’s Mongolian throat singing behind the narration on some of the tracks.  This adds an extra sense of ominousness to the story.

So the main story is a battle between The Lord of Lightning and Balrog and  they each get a song:

When the songs proper start, “The Lord of Lightning’s” theme is somewhat proggy with all kinds of ostinato (to use a term form the narration).  In addition to keyboard parts and some heavy rocking parts, there’s a callback to the chorus of “Nonagon Infinity.”  The music for this chapter is very complicated with fits and starts and various drum lines.

While the interstitials in the first chapter were done with an interesting guitar riff, the interstitials in this part come with a fast rumbling bass line.  “Balrog” has a lot of chanting befits a KGATLW song.

The war comes to a head in the Floating Fire which has more throat singing and a martial beat and its aftermath “The Acrid Corpse” … but which one is the corpse?

The third and final chapter, Han-Tyumi & The Murder of the Universe, is about a cyborg in a digital world who gains consciousness and decides to strive only for what a cyborg cannot do: vomit and die.  How very King Gizzard.  There’s a lot about vomit in this song. Maybe it was just fun hearing the robotic voice say vomit?

He decides to create a creature dubbed the “Soy-Protein Munt Machine” whose only purpose is to vomit. When the creature rejects his love, Han-Tyumi decides to merge with the machine, which causes it to lose control. This machine explodes and infinitely expels vomit, which eventually engulfs the entire universe: and so the universe is murdered.

It opens with keyboard swirls, like the opening credits a sci-fi soap opera

This is a much heavier bunch of songs, like the thumping (with extra drums) on “Digital Black.”  Over a futuristic keyboard section Han-Tyumi recites his problem:

I am bereft of two human things
Two things that a cyborg can never do
Two things that I strive for
Two things between myself and mankind
Death
And
To vomit

This story is bonkers.  But it totally rocks and it leads to the really catchy song (which they played live when I saw them called, what else, “Vomit Coffin.”  The final song is a tour de force of instrumental power while HanTyumi talks of vomiting and getting bigger and bigger until he destroys the universe.  Gross and hilarious and totally rocking.  Destroying the Universe never sounded so good.

[READ: February 28, 2019] Castle in the Stars 2

This gorgeous graphic novel was originally published in French and was translated by Anne and Owen Smith.

Part two continues with the beautiful look of his book.  I am really fascinated at the way these characters can look at time cartoonish and at times almost photo-realistic (in soft focus).

At the end of the last book our team escaped from certain danger by jumping aboard an aethership.  The crew is Seraphin (whose mother has been lost in the aether when she took a ship there and never returned), Seraphim’s father as well as Seraphim’s friend Sophie (a girl!) and her half-brother Hans (the very cartoony looking character). They are joined by King Ludwig whom we are told at the begiinning of the story just wanted to leave everything behind. (more…)

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