Thursday, November 20, 2008

Nels Cline Singers Live, Cafe Du Nord, SF

One of my fave guitarists to emerge from the indie rock scene of the 90s is the one and only Nels Cline. His ability to wring out tastefully bizarre sounds and tones from his guitar is an aural treat. Over the years, I've seen him add his guitar wizardry to the Geraldine Fibbers, Scarnella, and most recently, Wilco. I've owned a couple of his solo cds, but never seen him perform solo (well as a trio) until last night. It was a great night of experimental, guitar overload. A big channeling of Sonic Youth-like outre progressions, mixed with a dose of 90s math rock precision, and some avant Beefheartian guitar-based, free jazz for good measure. At the height of heaviosity the band was utterly rocking. Totally transfixing. Some of the slower, plinkier jazz interludes I could have done without. Made me think of how much my feet and back can hurt at a rock show. But all told, I was feeling it. If Jim Granato's power 'fro wasn't blocking my line of vision all night, it would have been blissful. As a bonus, the Deerhoof duo guested on a Eddie-Hazel flavored rendition of a Weather Report song.

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