20111018

shellac and helen money

This past Sunday we shot video of Shellac playing in Missoula for Sustain, the Travis Bean Guitar Doc that we've been making.  

I met the guitarist, Steve Albini, when we interviewed him in Chicago but this was my first time seeing the band perform live and these guys know how to put on a show.  As ambivalent in attitude as they may seem in some of what I've read about them, their show absolutely pays attention to the audience with banter, momentum and  intensity.  At one point, Albini gnaws at his guitar strings as if it were a chicken leg.  But watching him, and I was directly in front of him zoomed in on the guitar strings at this moment, and hearing the sounds that result, he's almost elegant about it. Considering his straightforward, confidence and enjoyment making well-prepared food for his wife (I follow his cooking blog, 'Mario Batali voice',) his performance with a guitar makes sense.  Like he's lapping at a bowl of three-minute gazpacho.  He makes and enjoys his soup, and he'll share with you how to make it, too.     

Any decent footage that comes out of that dark, low-ceiling den called the Palace will be saved for our movie.  For now, here is a still photo of the band setting up.  Albini is in front wearing his trademark mechanic's jumper.

   
The opening act rocked too
Helen Money, a one-woman electrical cello band, opened for Shellac.  Her weighty notes were a revelation for me.  I bought her latest cd, In Tune, to ruminate over as autumn settles in.  



Here is 'Mondo' by Helen Money with animation by Nelson Chan.




Both bands will be performing in California, Oregon and Washington in the coming days.  Please report back to me if you catch a show.

2 comments:

Anika said...

How cool! Sounds like a lot of fun. I love Shellac! Thanks for the HM intro too!

Tonette said...

You are welcome! It is definitely fun to video live music - especially showmen like Shellac. It demands so much improvisation keeping up with the band members, guessing where they will move or what. Sometimes I kept the camera still and just waited for Albini to pop in and out of the frame because he moves far and a lot.