Tyvek with Discos, Solar Culture, Wednesday, May 21
Discos doesn't get the credit they deserve for one reason: They're perceived as a side project of Lenguas Largas, one of Tucson's most acclaimed rock 'n' roll bands. Yes, they share members with Lenguas, but outside of the multiple drummers, there is no discernible musical connection. Discos beautifully and inventively expand on the droning exhilaration found in Stereolab's best work. Because three out of the four members of the band usually function in a percussive role, there is more rhythmic interplay and visceral movement than Stereolab (or other one— note wonders of that ilk). Every few songs, Discos threw in an unexpected section of poignant grandeur, ambiguous enough to evoke triumph or defeat, but defiantly provoking something.
Tyvek, a quartet from Detroit, started off unpromising. The material initially brought to mind the most generic of bands featured on compilations of '60s garage, '70s punk, and '80s hardcore, depending on the particular song. It appeared that Tyvek would be yet another anonymous purveyor of yet another revival of music older than your parents. The punks of the '70s explicitly proudly laid out what the original garage rockers probably didn't know what they were doing, which was emancipating inspiration from the shackles of rock 'n' roll's greatest enemy, musicianship. At first, Tyvek seemed to be lacking the inspiration, too.
A famous illustration from 1977, wrongly attributed to appearing in the English fanzine Sniffin' Glue (according to Wikipedia), featured diagrams of guitar chords with the caption, "This is a chord, this is another, this a third. Now form a band." Tyvek, for the most part, only learned the first chord before starting the band. But when the one chord, un-syncopated, non-swinging blur crashed into the band members' anti-persona presence, turning each song into a gesture mimicking the trains that constantly and deafeningly roll through behind Solar Culture, the greatness of Tyvek was finally apparent. They were simply continuing the narrative of their predecessors, adding to it not despite their lack of charisma, but because of it. The only discernible lyric in their final song, a grandchild of the Velvet Underground's "Sister Ray," was "click, clack, click, clack, click, clack, fuck," which neatly summed up five decades of low lives watching the clock until it's time to get wasted or fuck something because rock 'n' roll on its own just doesn't do it anymore. Personally speaking, Tyvek, on its own, did it for me.