Rae Spoon, SlowPitch, Vanessa and Others at the Polish Combatants Hall, Friday, May 17. Rating: NNN
The endlessly creative Rae Spoon is always up to something cool, and Friday night's TV Party was no exception. Inspired by the golden age of cable television, the event featured five teams consisting of a musical act and a filmmaker, each creating a "channel" for us viewers. Actual TVs stacked around the Polish Combatants Hall broadcasting static and exercise videos enhanced the sense of tube-watching.
SlowPitch's set was full of dark artistry - welcome after two lacklustre openers. The sci-fi turntablist and filmmaker Pouyan Jafarizadeh Dezfoulian went for "vintage horror," layering lonely, grainy black-and-white images mostly from 1922's Nosferatu with warped, dropped-pitched sounds that evoked a relentlessly thumping wind. Next, filmmaker Mark Pariselli's scrambled porn video scenes played to Vanessa from Lioness's low moaning and rhythmic gasping, conjuring pain and discomfort rather than pleasure.
Spoon's closing televangelist channel added humour to the night thanks to Leslie Supnet's narrative-driven images of megachurch congregation weirdness: a feverishly twitching woman looped over and over again, for example. Meanwhile, Spoon sweetly sang Old-Time Religion while playing sounds you might find on your grandmother's ancient pedal organ, a fascinating juxtaposition of audio and visual.