Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Mogwai in Atlanta

Last night The Nani saw Mogwai at Variety Playhouse in Atlanta. The show was great. The band from Glasgow, Scotland, whose drum kit was draped with a Celtic FC scarf (YYYYYYYYYeeeahh Catholics!), has a gift in taking delicate melodies, welcoming in the audience, then adding layers like a rising tide and eventually driving them to crescendos of complex sound, like a tsunami's wall carrying with it all the creatures of the sea, and then back out again into a solemn resolution. (yes, this is Nani's first attempt at a music review and it's cheesy as a mofo*)

Even those not familiar with the band are drawn in and know the songs by halfway through - maybe a testament to the length of some of the tracks. Anyway, they do this without vocals - save for a couple of tunes, one of which had vocals supplied by Iggy Pop:

The band has another gift... mastery of feedback and distortion. About 2/3 through the show, Mogwai played from Happy Songs for Happy People - the tune, of which I can't remember the name, was steadily driving toward its peak and all the while both of the guitarist were generating some surreal feedack, in which I heard the crowd of a soccer stadium, rush hour traffic, a group of friends talking, and maybe even some birds chirping - all this without Conway's Bongs; just a beer in-hand.

Anyway, the show was superb and The Nani would see them again if he is lucky enough. If your interested, you should check out some of the animated videos they have at Youtube. Here is "Hunted by a Freak," which might refer to my attempts to avoid la mere du Hot Rod, a song played last night as well:

This leads The Nani to one more thing regarding Mogwai. They provided the score to a documentary about Zinedine Zidane, football master. The film and music combined, with some captioned quotes from Zidane, deliver an experience that must be very close to what it feels like to playing in front of 80,000+ fans. Here are a couple of clips from that film, the first with music from Mogwai, the second without.

*denotes 2nd gratuitous usage of "mofo" by the TTT for the day

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