February 17th, 2011
Been meaning to get this up all week, but haven’t been able to. YOU understand. Last Friday (2/11), my BFF and I went down to Belltown to check out the Rendezvous-slash-Jewelbox Theater for the first time. I know, I know, I don’t get out as much as I used to. Luckily, there was a sweet lineup playing the tiny historical back room: ambient guitar noodler Matt Lawson as Secret Colors, cacophonous proto-punk trio M. Women, and dub-punk groovemeisters Flexions.
It had been awhile since I’d last seen Flexions, and I was eager to hear their sound with a live drummer, Tyler Swan of Truckasauras fame. Throughout the set, two things became clear: 1) Swan is a highly inventive and interest-piquing drummer and 2) the band is demonstrably better with him behind his kit. And I was a fan of the band when they were just two dudes and a machine. Swan didn’t add booming brawn or robust fills, but his clever textures and frisky beats were lively and mercurial. His flexible rhythm only helped to augment the new found dance vibe the trio has integrated into their shady, syncopated sound. Their set morphed into a mischievous electro-wave hip-swagger session with the coy crowd bubbling about the cozy confines of the Jewelbox. I’ve been a vocal fan of Devin Welch’s guitar work with Past Lives for awhile, and his slinky, snaky approach within Flexions is not so different. He and bassist Robin Stein play well together and I’m glad to see that their sound is evolving well. I believe the band has recently finished recording an album, but I’m not quite sure when they’ll release it to world. I will sit here and wait.
I really enjoyed listening to Secret Colors cascade the room with drowsy, anti-focus song impersonators. Lawson does a nice job with adding blurry visuals to the screen behind him, making it almost like watching a silent film with a live score. Below is video of the last piece he played, and it was a welcome warm-up to M. Women’s no-frills dance off/dance on punk racket.
More photos here.