Yesterday evening at around 9:00 I showed up at the McDonald Theater, slightly buzzed, and super stoked to see a show that I have been patiently waiting to see for a few weeks, or months, or something. Way back, when I had the red and black lumber jack, and I first heard that Beats Antique were hitting Eugene, I had no idea that Eskmo was scheduled to accompany them. A couple of weeks later I got the scoop, and I dug it. Being one for beat-driven electronic music, as well as the gypsy culture that comes along with Beats, I was as down as Charlie Brown.
The music didn’t start until 10-ish … or maybe it did, but at least that is when Eskmo turned it on. For those of you who do not know Eskmo, let me paint the scene for you. On the stage we’ve got one guy (Brendan Angelides), hella cords and buttons, random musical trinkets, and vibrant visual lighting blasting out from behind. Eskmo has been doing his thing for a little more than a decade now, gradually progressing, and perfecting his sound. He just started touring a year or two ago, and luckily he was joining the Beats last night, kicking it off with his second show of his 5 month 2011 US tour.
Though Eskmo may seem obscure to the untrained ear, his shit sort of epitomizes the contemporary experi-lectric phenomenon that has been coming into bloom in our nation’s West coast region. The ever evolving tool of technology is a major component in this undefinable genre of noise — allowing the opportunity for more and more minds to experiment with expressive audio and groovy visual art, energizing the bunny at hip clubs up and down the coast.
But when I had a chance to catch up with Eskmo himself, he made sure to mention that despite his prominence in the party realm, that is not what he is into. He went on to explain that his music is much more intentional than what some would fail to believe, and it is true, his is one hell of an artist. Other than simply displaying his mastery on the keys and other gadgets, he implemented an array of abstract rackets from tearing paper, to gangling keys. Celebrating is one thing, said Eskmo, partying is another––and he wanted me to make it clear that he does not promote the habits of some of his crowd. It was really sweet to here this perspective from a musician immersed in the rave culture. Other than that, Brendan and I just talked a little about the sound revolution and we shared names of inspirational artists. After chatting, I bought his self-titled album (which you should do too!) and had him sign it.
When I wasn’t trancing out to Eskmo’s melodic assaults, I was floating to the indigenous rhythms of Beats Antique. If you have not heard of this three-piece set of imaginative entertainers, then I would recommend scoping it out, just for the sake of witnessing a fine example of New Age musicians. Belly dancin’, banjo slappin, and elaborate stage costumes kinda say something about what this band is all about. Having heard them for my first time this summer at a festival in Tahoe, I added their tunes to my tune bank and have listened to them since. When I attempt explaining their work to others, I struggle, which is what is happening right now. I would simply strongly suggest checking these guys out live for your first time too, so where down the line if you every get the chance, they’re just about three of a kind.