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Topic ClosedTime Of Orchids @ The Stone, NYC 24/11/07

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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Time Of Orchids @ The Stone, NYC 24/11/07
    Posted: November 25 2007 at 19:16

Time Of Orchids at The Stone, Nov. 24 2007, NYC.

 

Time Of Orchids played at The Stone in NYC on Saturday November 24th at 10pm. Saturday nights at The Stone are slots where you have a band playing an entire album as it is. ToO played their latest album called Namesake Caution released last September (18th) through Cuneiform Records.

 

I never was at the Stone before so I wasn’t sure what to expect. All I knew is that you sit during the show and there are neither drinks nor food, so better grab something beforehand, which we did.

We arrived at the corner of Avenue C and 2nd street at about 21:30, knocked on the glass door with dark fabric covering it from the inside (the door had a very small sign saying The Stone) and were told to come back in 10-15 minutes, which we did. Once inside, I was surprised at how small the place was. It creates an intimate interaction space between the musicians and the audience especially before the show when you see the band members stroll around, taking care of the instruments, tuning, and talking to people (Stone staff and friends who came to watch the show). The ToO guys seem very nice and amiable folks, young and serious about their music.

 

There were probably less than 20 people that came to listen to the band and in any case there isn’t that much space for too many people to attend anyway. Maybe some more promotion could have helped, who knows.

 

The only music I know from these guys is from their last album so there wasn’t going to be any real surprise for me here but for my wife, Irit, and her friend (a nice young German graduate student named Alex who studies with Irit) it was to be the first real exposure to the band (though Irit did hear the album once but not in its entirety). Being someone who doesn’t like live shows and also one that thinks that listening to a studio album is the best way to know a band and get into their music, I didn’t expect Alex and Irit to get too enthusiastic about the band and as for myself, I was going to see if in live I can revive to some point the sentiments, impressions and feelings I had from listening to the album on my headphones at home.

 

The band started to play and though the place is small the music wasn’t too loud as I had worries it might be. The two first tracks on their album are pretty slow and I could see how for someone not knowing the album this might seem as if they’re just playing a messy nonsense. But since I knew the music I could relate to it quite well. I actually thought that Bodie the drummer seemed to want to get ahead to the faster tracks so he could start getting into a faster rhythm. However he faced a problem with his bass drum cover reaping or something like that, as after the second track they stopped and he asked for some tape to mend it. Later on in the show it had to be taken care of several more times and positioned so it doesn’t move. However the band managed to get over the small and annoying technical issues pretty well and with a cool temperament.

Jesse also seemed very into it with his head thrashes (his long hair adding to the effect) and gave a good performance, especially on the parts where the bass is dominant (The Only Thing, Crib Tinge To Callow). Eric did a great job, especially in keeping up with all their quite complex guitar parts and my favourite part of his, the post-rock like guitar howl at Darling Abandon. Chuck seemed absorbed in the music as he sang and played the keyboards (and the guitar on just one song, I think it was on Meant). They all seemed to give their fullest in this show, even though it was a small crowd in a small place.

They were completely absorbed as they played, immersed in their music, apart from Bodie who was the one who seemed the most aware of his surroundings; all this given that the band was about a meter or two away from the listeners who sat on chairs right in front of them.

They seemed to playing well for the most part, mostly sticking to the songs apart from further vocalization by Eric. Given the complexity of several of the songs, I found their synchronization quite impressive; giving occasional glances to start a particular part and from then on playing smoothly together with no mistakes. There was only one time I thought they were out of tune (in We Speak In Shards), as one guitar sounded a bit out of key, but I might be wrong here. For the most part I could discern well the songs but at times it became blurry and only because I know the songs, was I able to follow it. I am not sure how it sounded to people unfamiliar with the album. But that was not their fault probably but the conditions they had to face in this particular venue. The highlights for me were the songs I like most in this album (which I think are probably the most popular songs in this album) those being: Darling Abandon, Gem, The Only Thing and We Speak In Shards.

The music at times became so intense and a bit blurry that it gave this somewhat psychedelic impression (which Irit also referred to after the show) and as Chuck said it well before Crib Tinge to Callow it’s going to get weird… Indeed weird or maybe awkward is more appropriate. Mysterious, eerie and weird are indeed impressions this album conjures up for me when listening to it.

The crowd seemed to like what they heard and probably most knew the album (though I met two people afterwards who did not know it and bought the cd from the band). In this type of music, I think it is best to know the music ahead (actually in most cases for me it is like this) as this is hard to perceive and absorb it in a live show due to the sound limitations.

It is during the show that I realized again how they combine harmonies with dissonance and disjointed type of writing. It might be a sort of hybrid between Kayo Dot and Upsilon Acrux or Ahleuchatistas.

 

After the show I went to the small table in the entrance to get a copy of Sarcast While and a t-shirt (all items were 12$ and the band probably needs every cent) and I talked shortly with Chuck, introducing myself as Assaf from Prog Archives and he indeed remember me contacting them to ask for info in order to add them to PA. Chuck is a friendly guy and since I said that I tried to persuade people from PA and from Progressive Ears to come to the show, he said that since their music is weird, not many people would come to see them. Granted, but I think that if we the fans get the word out there we can get more people to see their show. He also said that their next scheduled show next month in the Annex in NYC is currently canceled but for those who want to go, I’d look at their Myspace for updates. I wished him luck with the band and their release and we left as he seemed exhausted (another proof that he gave all of himself on the show).

 

Overall the band gave a good performance and it was a fun experience.

 

Links:

Official website - http://www.timeoforchids.com

Band Myspace - http://www.myspace.com/timeoforchids

Current label, Cuneiform - http://www.cuneiformrecords.com/

Former label, Tzadik - http://www.tzadik.com/

Former label, Epicene Sound - http://www.epicenesound.com/

Band page at Prog Archives - http://www.progarchives.com/artist.asp?id=3157

 



Edited by avestin - November 25 2007 at 20:49
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 28 2007 at 20:54
Interesting. I haven't heard their latest album, only have Sarcast While, but I'm very curious to know how do they make their music. It looks like the show was good, but it sounds a bit odd with those venue rules.

Let me know what you think of Sarcast While.


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