Sunday, December 10, 2006

Roger O'Donnell, Christopher Willits, Haley Bonar at Spaceland

Sometimes synthesizers get the best of me. I couldn't pass up the last minute opportunity to check Roger O"Donnell(formerly the Keyboardist of the Cure) at Spaceland. So I headed down expecting a good size crowd but ended up being one of the first people there. I was glad I showed up early cause their was some good bands on the bill. Haley Bonar was up first and she played some minimalistic tunes on her Rhodes Pianos with a backing band as well as some tunes on her acoustic guitar. Funny enough ...kinda sounded like Jenny Lewis. Some tunes stood out more then others. Her uptempo songs were catchier then her ballad songs but I am a sucker for Rhodes pianos so I will check out her album. Christopher Willits was interesting... Here is the description from the spaceland site.."Surf Boundaries is full of gorgeous, hazy, glitchy,multi-layered tone poems that are totally soothing the savage beast in me and making this Monday so much more bearable. Willits has been making music for years now- he is a guitarist and sound-artist who has released a number of abstract and experimental albums, he has collaborated with a number of musicians (Kid606,Matmos, Paul D'Amour, and Ryuichi Sakamoto among others) and multimedia artists from his home base in San Francisco." - Music for Robots review Of Willits' album, Surf Boundaries. Quite the impressive resume....interesting sounds... he had 2 laptops with one used for the projector and the other laptop he plugged his guitar in and was using a ton of delay spliced with samples, feedback,phasing. The songs were good but really stood out when he incorporated it with the live drums and some programmed beats. He also had a female vocalist but you couldn't hear her that well due to the mix. Roger O'Donnell was awesome. He had 2 Moog Voyagers setup with a laptop and a projection screen. He would play a keyboard line ... sample it.. layer it.. and repeat till he had like 8 different tracks. He had some technical difficulties ...his program Ableton Live 6 crashed so he replayed the song which was a bonus. He also had a guest female singer Erin Lang who was really talented. He ended his set with her singing The Cure song "A Forest" which was spectacular!! I got his CD signed and talked to him for a bit. Nice guy..very humble. Roger also has a remix disc coming out soon with remixes by The Album Leaf, Dntel (Jimmy Tamborello) which I will purchase for sure, I also spotted Alessandro Cortini(ModWheelMood) in the audience checking out the bands so I felt vindicated that I was not the only synthesizer enthusiast in the crowd.


Anonymous said...

thats a great review you gave... ! thankyou for your video footage, i sure hope to catch them around again... great nights to come... cheeers..k

if you are ever on myspace, please feel free to add me,

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for you kind review. I had words with Ableton as you can imagine ! but they worked out the bug and it is truly a fantastic programme that allows me to do what I do ... thanks again, Roger