Kraftwerk, April 23
Any concerns about how the precisely engineered electro-pop of Kraftwerk would fare in the acoustically unforgiving Ricoh Coliseum were quickly dispelled once the four rigid 'werkers began tweaking their podium-mounted laptops. In the words of co-founder Ralf Hütter , it was "crisp, clear kling-klang sound" during the entire two-hour-plus multimedia presentation, which ran like Deutsche clockwork, without so much as a buzz or a glitch.
Throughout the crowd-pleasing retrospective show, a mostly chronological swing through the high points of Kraftwerk's 34-year run as electronic music innovators, Düsseldorf's fab four maintained their cool man/machine mystique, never once cracking a smile or making an unnecessary gesture. In fact, the robotic versions of the members that appeared for the encore of We Are The Robots were actually much more animated than their human counterparts. How delightfully Kraftwerkian.
Over The Top Fest at various clubs This week, April 29 to May 2, youthful T.O. music promoter Eric Warner puts on his annual Over The Top fest, now in its third year. The lineup is as eclectic as ever, with performances by Philadelphia's Grand Buffet , Vancouver's Peanuts and Corn rap crew (including Pipi Skid - see disc review, page 63) and the equally boisterous and rambunctious Bush League . Kicking off the festival tonight (Thursday, April 29) at Sneaky Dee's are locals Vulcan Dub Squad , whose cover of I Wanna Be Your Dog has sparked the odd brawl.
Others playing throughout the festival at various venues are Vice Records signees Chromeo , the Unicorns , Cursed and impossible-to-resist curiosity the Trachtenberg Family Slideshow Players , as well as a host of others arriving from places as far-flung as New Jersey and Japan.
Aggressive Tendencies tour
MuchLoud presents the Exclaim! Aggressive Tendencies tour tomorrow (Friday, April 30) at Rockit , with local chaotic hardcore metal guys the End , Cursed and the Abandoned Hearts Club . The End's latest release is a sort of concept album of demented metal noisecore that actually follows a story.
Band member Aaron Wolff won't talk about the story, though.
"We don't want to say, 'Here it is, and now that's what you guys have to take in as listeners. '"
And he says the music isn't always aggressive.
"We have slow stuff, too, and a lot of different elements. It's just all really dark and passionate."
Besides, he's not even listening to aggressive metal.
"I've been listening to the Constantines' Shine A Light for the past five days."
Still, tomorrow's show won't be exactly low-key.
"We play dark, atmospheric music that draws us out emotionally," Wolff says. "We can totally lose ourselves in what we're playing."