Waking Hour and Squarepusher with a side story about Danger Mouse

It was a very good day full of music and art and corned beef and cabbage.

The day started with a 9:30AM pre-recorded interview and live performance by The Rescues on KCSN in Los Angeles. The interview started with the origin of The Rescues as a trio. Gabe, Kyle and Adrianne were invited by a mutual friend to perform at their wedding. They played that show as a one-off and the mayor of Los Angeles became a fan from that show. The three of them decided to try writing songs together and that resulted in their first album and tour.

They then cut to a live performance of Let Loose the Horses. The sound in the studio overloaded some of the instruments but it was okay.

When they got back to the interview, they told the tale of how Rob became the fourth member of the band. The same mutual friend that got the trio together mentioned that there was still something missing. Adrianne suggested Rob Giles and contacted him… the day after he decided to give up his music career. That story was the lead in to the radio debut of a brand new song by The Rescues, a live performance of Be My Cure from their third album yet to be finished.

After Be My Cure, which had an overloaded percussion part but seemed like a pretty good song, they talked about each of their latest solo albums and the fate of the third Rescues album. The album is mostly done. Then they cut to a third live performance of the song Arrow, which we just saw Adrianne perform on Thursday night solo. We had no idea that the song Adrianne wrote about the heartache she felt at the failed record company/Rescues relationship was also a Rescues song. My wife even bought a pendant from Adrianne with lyrics from the song on it.

A short time after the radio thing, my wife and I headed out to our traditional St. Patrick’s Day meal of corned beef and cabbage at Chick-n-Coop in Daly City. It was a satisfying meal that fueled us with the energy we needed to get through the rest of our day.

Up next was a StageIt concert performance by Vienna Teng from her house in Ann Arbor, highlighting songs from the album Waking Hour. Outside of the $50 tip we gave that should have been $5, it was a good show. She had a sound engineer helping out from The Ark, but needed a picture engineer as the shot was pretty dark. She did more than half of the songs from the album and it was fun for me to look back at how much those songs have changed since we first heard them performed in 2002.

She did Between and Soon Love Soon on the looper for the first time, which was awesome to hear and I liked this performance a lot more than her first StageIt show last month.

Shortly after the Vienna Teng show, I managed to find reasonable ticket prices for tonight’s Creators Project event at Fort Mason. While we paid $30 a ticket from some dude in North Carolina for tickets to a show that should have been free, it was a rare opportunity to see Squarepusher live, which is something I have wanted to do since 1998’s Nothing Changes compilation CD came out attached to an XLR8R magazine.

We got to Fort Mason, got a parking space, had a mild scare getting our tickets scanned but got in with no problems. After a brief walk around, impressed with the Origin cube and its subwoofers and Scanner soundtrack, depressed by the food truck lines, we headed into the festival pavilion and camped in front of the soundboard.

The next act to come on was Shabazz Palaces, which featured one of the members of Dig able Planets. We had missed HEALTH and The Antlers, so I figured why not check out this band. Shabazz Palaces weren’t interesting at all. So we got in two food truck lines. They didn’t move for quite some time. I got out of my line and joined with my wife. I think I made a good choice. We ate at 3 Sum where my wife got a fried chicken sandwich and I got a BLT and they were realty tasty. For desert we got a cheesecake brownie that was pretty average brownie with little to no cheesecake involved and a butterscotch pudding that Butterscotch on the Go puts to shame. Our lemonade was good.

We ate in the festival pavilion, where Zola Jesus went on after we got back inside. She is featured on the new Orbital album, so I thought it would be good to check her music out. The vibe from the performance was kind of Portishead like, with Zola in white, the rest of the band in black and back lit by images so they all just looked like shadows on the stage. The music was like Florence and the Machine but with sub par vocals. I liked that she had a violin player and that she had the guts to crowd surf but I don’t see myself making an effort to ever see her in concert again.

The between sets side of the stage DJ was way better than Zola or Shabazz. I was getting excited for Squarepusher.

That compilation CD had Squarepusher, Plaid, The Bowling Green, Meat Beat Manifesto and other Warp artists that Trent Reznor intended to use his vanity label, Nothing Records, to distribute in the US. Things with nothing didn’t work out, but that one CD exposed my wife and I to some of the best electronic acts in the world. We have seen Meat Beat Manifesto a few times but this was our first opportunity to see Squarepusher and it was AWESOME!

Squarepusher had a simple screen for visuals and a helmet that also projected visuals. He played for around 75 minutes and it was an amazing experience. It was just like I imagined it would be but with more lights. I was very glad that we could be there.

After Squarepusher we decided to leave before Yeah Yeah Yeahs and LCD Soundsystem brought out the hipster riots. We explored the art installations and I really liked a Pac-Man like game called Inside a Star-filled Sky by Jason Rohrer. We also liked Six-Forty by Four-Eighty, a modular interactive exhibit with lighted magnetic cubes. The standout centerpiece of the entire event though had to be the Origin cube. It was like being on The Grid in Tron except with booming bass.

Overall it was a great event and well worth the price we paid and the $10 parking fee.


As an aside, there is a new Norah Jones song that we heard at least four times on the radio today called Happy Pills that seems to be the song most likely to be a radio loved hit for the season. What makes this important is that like many of the previous hit songs from previous seasons shared the same producer, a little white dude named Danger Mouse. It made me wonder where Vienna Teng would be today if she had picked Danger Mouse and not Larry Klein to produce Dreaming Through the Noise.

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