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My Education/61 Cygni/Sleep Now Yes
Elysium, August 26th

Tuesday nights at Elysium are usually a bit eclectic and this one was no exception. Normally the bill for such a night is a little more cohesive than this one was, but only Elysium could pull off mixing an electro-industrial band, a more straight-forward three piece rock band and a six member spacerock/ progressive rock band with a violin. Anyone who stayed the entire night was treated to some really good music that doesn't always fit neatly into classification boxes.

sleep now yesSleep Now Yes, the electro-industrial band on the ticket, was the first band to take the stage. The lead signer, “Mr. Vision” was surrounded by electronic devices and Christmas lights. He was seriously boxed in; the only place he could bounce around was behind all his equipment. That didn't discourage him much, though. Mr. Vision stepped back into the hole created around his equipment to scream away as needed. Keyboard and percussion duties were handled by Red Sharkey. He wasn't just standing there tapping a few keys; he was pounding away at the boards to squeak every last sound out of them he could. The guitarist, a certain “Evol Kram” played his licks well and kept everything moving along. In spite of a few early sound problems, Sleep Now Yes put on a good solid set that shows some definite promise. Look for these guys the next time they have a show. There's more to see with this outfit than the current fare of laptop-punching electro bands.

Cygnai 61, our three-piece rock band of the night, took the stage next. This outfit from Houston delivered a strong, emotional set. The female vocalist also played lead guitar and looked mighty smashing while doing so. The bassist was off in the corner keeping good time and driving the songs forward. As usual, the drummer was set back and couldn't really be seen. I always feel for drummers, but usually they want to be hidden away and let their beats do the talking.

my educationThe headlining band, My Education, is rather difficult to classify. If I really had to search for similar-sounding bands I'd have to lump them in with Hawkwind or Godspeed! You Black Emperor. The live violin (yes, I said violin) and lack of vocals, when combined with three guitars and a drummer, add up to a spacey, almost progressive-rock sound. I wouldn't quite lump this band in with the mighty ballad-monsters of 1970’s prog-rock, but what they are doing doesn't really fit anywhere else very well. The set was interesting, mostly low-key . There weren't the bizarre tempo changes that sometimes characterize similar bands. My Education played good, strong dreamy songs with some rock instruments and some 'classical' instruments; the keyboard that was onstage sounded more like a piano than like the keyboards used by synthpop and other electronic bands. In some ways, this band was more of an update of 'classical' composition techniques and performances. An interesting set, all in all.

-Brian Clarkson

Elysium
AMODA, Friday, August 29th

I'm gonna make this short and sweet.

The Austin Museum of Digital Art held another of it's musical showcases at the Elysium. Normally I am all about electronic music in general and Elysium shows in particular. I should have been wary though, when I got
a phone call from another Rank and Revue writer asking me to cover the show.

"Sure, no problem, I'm not doing anything tonight anyway".

I should have known something was up, and although the beginning of the night leading up to the show was going pretty well, I should've expected the turn that I got.

Me, sitting at the Elysium, which at near 11pm was populated with only a few handfuls of people, most of them AMODA members. Listening wistfully to the music floating out of the PA and filling the club. I use the word
wistfully because I wished I could have made out what it was anyway.


Electronic Artists apparently is the phrase used to describe quiet morose looking people who stand behind a keyboard and laptop, pushing a random button and twiddling some knobs. Not that I have anything against knob twiddling performers, but I demand there be something resembling a melody line to go with it. Hey look, I like shoe-gazer music sometimes. I can
often wrap my head around the whole soundscape approach to music, that's fucking fine. That wasn't the case at the AMODA show. There was maybe one out of the five acts that was in any way salvageable or bearable, the rest turned into a sort of electronic-pretention-music masturbation., and I was not getting off.

When you have to ask yourself and the bartender if "the band is on" while they are in the middle of their set, then I think you have to reassess what you just spent money on. If I had actually paid for the show that I got at during this AMODA event I would have definately asked for my money back. I can't even tell you who was playing that night because it all got lost in un-ending waves of suckage.

In closing, the night was a bust, and if I get another call again to cover an AMODA show I will demand hard drugs as compensation. Otherwise I'm at least gonna ask for the right to inflict a kick in the nuts on whoever's idea it was to pick me to do it.

-Darin D'Avila

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