May 8, 2013
Moss of Aura
May Third 2013
Death By Audio Brooklyn, NY
I love seeing shows at this place. Looking like the hollowed out boiler room of some middle school in Teaneck NJ, Death By Audio is the best place to see wild performances and to get broken glass in yr hair… one of ’em at least. My photographer/good friend Matt had been on the fence as to whether he should attend or not after our last gig turned fiasco and left us with nothing but bruises and a lifetime ban from 285 Kent. I wholeheartedly assured him I was back on my meds and threw in the promise of a crock-pot recipe book to sweeten the deal and he eventually came around. It was, as they say… on. We were here for a night of sets by different members of the group Future Islands so shit, let the games begin.
After decompressing for a while in the back we walked up front to witness a dude in a blood red parka rapping furiously over some screaming beat from an exhausted MacBook. After about 26 seconds I recognized this MC to be none other than Future Islands singer Samuel Herring himself. This threw me for a bit of a loop and when I turned towards Matt I noticed he was simply nodding his head systematically like all was right with the world. I stared straight ahead and thought to myself for a bit when the realization suddenly hit me. It kinda was.
I was super excited to finally see Moss of Aura who I’d been using as theme music for long drives from Brooklyn to Salem, MA or for fast laps around Union Square at dawn. Whatever works. A one-man synth implosion by Gerrit Welmers is all you need sometimes. He sets up a big thick keyboard on the stage floor, plugs in all kinds of really complicated looking blinking black boxes, sits down and hits some switches and starts a wave of sound that continues on for 35 fuzzy minutes. The music is a slow body sway, orchestral kind of noise. Picture a women draped in white velvet riding a Shetland Pony while being chased by the cops in slow motion for the perfect visual of these amazing songs. Seriously. Fucking do it! This guy is one of the good ones.
At this point in the story we started to get into some troubling behavior which found us both outside smoking furiously and engaged in a heated discussion van side about certain members of the audience and how terrible Marlboro Blacks are. I managed to regain my composure long enough to plant my right foot and walk with confidence back inside where I slumped down on the floor and tried to regain my focus on the story. As Matt fumbled with his cellphone the sound of a saxophone fouled the air and five men with snail headpieces came round the corner single file and climbed on stage. “Must be The Snails” I said, instantly regretting the observation. After the “singer” introduced the band as exactly that they ripped into some alcohol-damaged rock n’ roll that brought instant smiles and dances to all. The Snails whole set was one big party that I would have liked to see last long after the music stopped. After about 40 minutes or so Matt leaned over and motioned to the singer who was now swaying and staggering like Frankensteins monster and yelled, “He’s about done!” “Yeah” I screamed, “He’s got that headpiece and fuckin’ union suit to deal with, no wonder!” “And he’s wasted beyond help!” Matt countered. “True” I said as I waited for what was supposed to be one of their last songs. I watched as the singer grabbed wildly for the microphone, finally gripping it with both hands and exclaiming, “This Snail shit’s gettin’ old! This is about it for us.” We laughed hard about that statement because in a way it resonated with us. This snail shit is gettin’ old, and only the good die young.
The king is dead, long live the king.
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