From Iceland — Kaffibarinn – Thursday (off-venue)

Kaffibarinn – Thursday (off-venue)

Published October 16, 2009

When I feel, my words muddle and press, compress, express.
First: Puzzle Muteson. Warm, muffled folk. Bodies reclined on
stairs, chairs. Clean guitar-picking and falsetto. Couple trading
furtive kisses. Orange light. Bodies hugging ballads. I smiled so
easily when I saw you; I softened so naturally. Audience rapt. I sweat
and my hands grew cold. Eyes, energy focused. Pupil pointillism, an
ocular sea in a square made of wood. Muteson’s folk ballads as
candle-lit mahogany. As crashed waves on rock transformed into a pillow
pushed through sunlit fog. Taking what was heard as hurt and,
alchemical, making that hard as swollen heart. And to be brave enough.
To be brave enough. Be brave enough. Some men worked their fingers on
imagined chords as they listened. And then Muteson’s set ended.
Between Muteson and Nico Muhly, Sam Amidon’s album All Is Well
was broadcast – an á propos bridge for its folk and Muhly arrangement.
This land is birds for people.
Next: Nico Muhly does two things he has never done before. Why? Because
I love you so much. Very fast. Poly-rhythmic piano. The piano is in the
room. E-based feedback. Oh, the wind and the rain and the dog that
applauds with its vocal folds. The dog is in the room. Feedback solved.
Rough ruff. Staccato interplay of pulse-synth and piano. Because I
witness fresh, humble genius in Muhly’s performance. Curious. Space is
in the room. Girls are in the room. Muhly’s sonics couched in the proud
shell of a Martian bivalve. In girls with names like Alice, Rose,
Basket, Hilda, Hulda, Hildur. She’ll or shell. Because I listen.
Intensity. Frenetic, insistent piano. Piano riffs. Piano hammering.
Piano shall.
Because yes, I know.
Bridging, Muhly invited Majika to debut a remix he’s created of Muhly’s “Wonders” triptych off Mothertongue “and mermaids wise who weep in weather fair.”
Last: Majika in weather. Surprise. Body, piano, machine. Storytelling.
Beatbox, beat the box, Yamaha. Plastic-sex pop contrast to Muteson and
Muhly’s soul-felt depths.
And then I left.

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