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Arbouretum, Pontiak, Blake e/e/e @ the Talking Head

Live audio is up for Arbouretum here and Pontiak here, presented by Jeff the Baltimore Taper in association with Aural States.

Coming in late, I apparently missed a great set from Television Hill, another project of Dave Heumann from Arbouretum. But honestly, both Arbouretum and Pontiak ended up killing it so much I didn’t need another great set.

Blake e/e/e were still set to open though. They proved very perplexing to me with a curious brand of experimental folk. In their music, there is an almost constant strain of something mysterious, je ne sais quoi, that pulls me in an appealing direction. Their recorded material delivers, but unfortunately, through the live execution and follow-through on that initial attraction, there is a lot left to be desired. The set ended up as an average experience for me, though not necessarily an unpleasant one. I tried desperately to put my finger on what that was and the only thing I have come up with thus far is either bad pacing on their part or low attention span on my part. Other than that, the only thing I found disappointing in their set was that there was never a real pay-off to any sort of slow-mounted tension. They should probably take some lessons from Pontiak and Arbouretum on that point.

Pontiak mounted the stage and proceeded to rebuke my growing perception that the most engaging things going on in music right now are the products of excessive style/genre fusion, musical alchemy.

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