Favorite

Live 

Mr. Elevator & the Brain Hotel, Freezing Hands, Young and Heartless, TLMS, Thursday, July 25

At this point, the most striking aspect of watching Freezing Hands play is that a mere six months since their first album was released, all the songs sound like standards. "Good Morning Takeout," "Oh, Bird," "Numbers for Sale," et al. are already classics, however they're performed. And on this occasion, Freezing Hands was shambolic and gloriously unrehearsed — a drumstick flying this way, a microphone stand falling that way. Matt Rendon was clearly furious at his drum kit, and he won the brawl.

Singer/guitarist Travis Spillers swayed around and hit the microphone too late a few times, but when he did, as in the amphetamine-blur rendition of Curtis Mayfield's "You Must Believe Me," the casual chaos of his head bashing the mic juxtaposed with that voice, one of immense soul and intensity, the musical returns were beauty and timelessness. Freezing Hands closed with a stunning new song, "The Only Television I Know," a complete stylistic left turn that traced Stereolab back to the motorik rhythms of Neu!, only to end up as a distant cousin of the Velvet Underground's "European Son," had Jaki Liebezeit from Can played the drums on it.

Young and Heartless, on tour from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, are more contemporary but just as immediate as Freezing Hands. Spreading the gospel of their first EP, Death in Color, the quartet was emotionally charged, and each song was performed as though the band members were being electrocuted: a good thing. The angular guitar lines and extreme dynamics were reminiscent of Fugazi or a more muscular Modest Mouse. Although Young and Heartless worked their flair for the dramatic in terms of screaming vocals and pounding drums, it was quite clear that the anger and despair were genuine, and that's what matters most.

Los Angeles' Mr. Elevator & the Brain Hotel were a completely different story. This Burger Records act didn't articulate mental derangement - they personified it. Their flamboyant dandy image served as a clue, but not the key, to what this band is about. If Pink Floyd had replaced Syd Barrett with a synthesizer, if ? & The Mysterians were completely insane, they still wouldn't have approached Mr. Elevator's guitar-less psychotic reactions, ghostly shrieks, and the absolutely gorgeous, luminescent finale. This is music that makes drugs obsolete.

More by Joshua Levine

  • Noise Annoys

    All hail The Loudhouse, host of Tucson’s latest underground racket
    • Jan 12, 2017
  • Noise Annoys

    Louise Le Hir
    • Jan 5, 2017
  • Noise Annoys

    Levine Rounds up Tucson’s Best Releases of ’16 (PT. 2)
    • Dec 22, 2016
  • More »

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

  • Sonoran Soul: Carlos Arzate

    On Got Me Wrong, Carlos Arzate explores struggle with melody
    • Sep 3, 2015
  • Noise Annoys

    Baby Gas Mask, absurdist soul and prog, plus Chaka!
    • Oct 13, 2016

Latest in Live

  • Noise Annoys

    Baby Gas Mask, absurdist soul and prog, plus Chaka!
    • Oct 13, 2016
  • B-Sides: DJQ

    MUSIC AS POETRY
    • Jul 28, 2016
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • People Who Died: Leonard Cohen by Howe Gelb

    Leonard had a voice with the authority to soothe the journey of a treacherous landscape we insist on traversing, says Giant Sand's Howe Gelb.
    • Dec 29, 2016
  • Noise Annoys

    Levine Rounds up Tucson’s Best Releases of ’16 (PT. 2)
    • Dec 22, 2016
  • More »

People who saved…

Facebook Activity

© 2017 Tucson Weekly | 7225 Mona Lisa Rd. Ste. 125, Tucson AZ 85741 | (520) 797-4384 | Powered by Foundation