Weekend In New York: Guardian Alien Transcends, Walter Schreifels Solos, And The Beets Get Weird For A Good Cause
Illustrations by Debbie Allen
The hurricane might be over, but as Waste of Paint spent much of the weekend discovering, the recovery work has only just begun. Thankfully, the people of this city support one another in times of need, and the music community is no exception; two of the three shows we attended benefitted Sandy victims in some way, and there are hopefully many more like them to come.
- Waste of Paint Archives
Friday we hit up the Knitting Factory to see Guardian Alien open for the great and trippy Psychic Ills. I was a little bummed Raul De Nieves was not there screaming and hanging from the ceiling in platform heels as he had at Trip House a few weeks back, but he's not a permanent member of the band, so I can't really fault them for that.
Built around the complex marvel of Greg Fox's drumming, Guardian Alien experiments with dynamics and sensory overload in an attempt to achieve something resembling the peace that passes beyond understanding. In what seemed like a half-improvised jam session, Fox's drum attack escalated endlessly as Eli Winograd's percussive bass, Turner Williams Jr.'s scrabbly shahai baaja (an Indian electric zither), and Alex Drewchin's spiritual chanting and spacey sound effects drew various patterns on top of it. Despite being a bit more avant-garde than the Psychic Ills, it tickles the THC-loving parts of the brain in a similar way, but of course, the results can be unpredictable; earplugs in, I found it strangely soothing, while Debbie thought she might have an anxiety attack.