Saturday, December 06, 2008

Meat Beat Manifesto at the Knitting Factory

My favorite scene in music has always been Industrial, because like Punk, there was not only a community behind the music, but an intersection with philosophy and methodology. To be specific, I'm interested in the deconstruction and reorganization of found elements in order to produce a new meaning, or the "Cut-up". This informed not only my perspective on music, but writing and visual arts as well (I started to touch on this in some entries a while back). The cut-up is still a staple of Industrial music, and although it's not completely accurate to call Meat Beat Manifesto an industrial band, they do use the cut-up technique. Hence my interest in seeing them perform at the Knitting Factory.

The last time I checked out the Knitting Factory was back in 2005 to hear Andy Khouri spin, so all the new businesses in the Galaxy complex threw me off; I almost missed the sign to the club. I had also made the mistake of not checking with friends to see when the bands came on, so I showed up early. Luckily I had my notebook, and the bar had cheap beer. A half-hour later Gabriel Dub opened. The set started off with a guy behind a macbook triggering a grating sound which eventually morphed into heavy heavy dub. Like Bauhaus Dub interludes with triple LFO. A black guy with dreads sang mutant dancehall over it. I liked it alot - at least until two more musicians came out, one of whom was a woman playing what looked like an electric violin. but sounded like a shakuhachi flute in reverse. If the Goths had shown up at that point, their pet bats would be flying into each other. Anyway, the electric violinist eventually playing something less atonal, and I enjoyed the rest of the set.

For this show, Meat Beat was comprised not only of Jack Dangers, but Mark Pistel on electronics, Lynn Farmer on live drums, and Ben Stokes on video. The set opened up with VO samples and shots of Marshall Applewhite over MBM classic techno/hip-hop/industrial beats. The highlight of the set - or my favorite - was "Radio Babylon" in front of shots of Grace Jones and flames. The encore was a barrage of beats and a obama-animation followed by "Edge of No Control". As the show wrapped up, I noticed quite a few people capturing video with their phones, probably for posterity, but hopefully some of them intended to do some remixing of their own.

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