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Hidden Music in the Hood
March 15, 2002

Last night I flew through the air to the surface of Eceon and ended up in the Hood. Yes, I was at the Hood show last night, along with about 100 other people.

When I bought my ticket the guy at the ticket sales podium didn't even have the right ticket for the show-it was an old ticket for the Village Underground show. He told me I could come back just before the show and get it then if I didn't trust this fake looking thing. He said, "It's not going to sell out tonight." I felt like I was going to the lamest show in town.

But I was wrong. The people there looked like they had been living in the underground music world for years. Granted long gone are the days when you can enter that local club to find dozens of people decked-out in their genres gear-like a bunch of punk rockers or goths. However, this came close. A goth girl with long, black hair and eyes lined like a Cheetah's, huddled close to her two guy friends. A young punk rocker with spiky hair, jean jacket and pants, stood up front before the crowd. Gorgeous mod girls sat like statues, watching the show. One vampire-white guy with a shaven head and a black trench came all the way from DC just to see Hood (and take pictures).

On.Air.Library-two young girls with spritely 'dos and one guy-started the night with droney music that had harsh electric guitars (seemed harsher than they should have been-Alejandra Estela Dehenza did say "it sounds better on the cd") and synth effects thrown in. On.Air's music could put me to sleep and sounded great for meditation. Alley's voice was immaculate too.

Surface of Eceon is made up of all the retired DND alternative kids from your high school. The vocalist Adam Forkner wore a rainbow colored robe for only ten seconds of his set. I was very disappointed. I thought I was in for a David Bowie styled theatrical treat. They offered us some of the most magical sounding soulful space music, set often to a tribal beat, with drawn-out rhythms-influenced a lot by Pink Floyd I bet. At one point it was three guitars, one bass, and drums. Imagine the inter-weaving rhythm in that! Where's that doobie? But anyway, I would sure like to work with this stuff playing in the background. Five minutes to the end, I thought Adam was going to break the neck of his guitar against an amp. The funniest part of the galactic breakdown: each time Adam played a note on his trumpet, he'd shake his head everywhere like a madman. He was hunched near a mike set two feet from the ground. It was one of the funniest things ever-sweat spurting everywhere, bushy hair fanning out, him almost falling over-and I would've never guessed, the way they started out all mellow, with a couple of the guitarists' backs turned to the audience for most of the set.

Hood came on like the grandfather pros, but none of them looked older than 27. The drum set was center stage and at a right angle to the audience, so we got Stephen Royle's profile all night. He banged on those drums like a wild monkey, an alien-no, it was the drummerman. I've never noticed before the graceful, forceful arches of a drummer's arms until that night. For some songs his sticks had cushioned ends. For one, his sticks had a brush attachment that sounded like rustling leaves. There were also two guitarists-Chris Adams with a left-handed guitar-a bassist (Richard Adams), and a sampler operator (Gaz Brown). I was a sponge and their music was the water. I just absorbed it all. Their music had a pleasant melody, energetic drums, and many long, gentle sounds that reeled me in deeper. I just thought to myself, "this sounds so fucking good" at one point.

The music I heard on their CDs was more alive than ever. It didn't matter that they were all wearing jeans and t-shirts and just playing their instruments, at least until the encore, when I got a little fidgety. They projected visuals outside the stage. On the upper left wall, trees, the sky, and roads passed by (Great imagery since their music sounds like good driving music-It pushes you forward at a quiet pace.)-and on the right wall, a slow-moving nature shot around a shadow of an abstract dragonfly. Near the end they played rapid, punk-style electric guitar. During one song, they played all instruments on overdrive. Chris shouted, over and over, "this is what it sounds like when you've gone too far!" After two encore songs, he quipped that since he fulfilled all contractual obligations, he could now take requests. Hood selected a song a couple people mentioned and that they had the gear for (I couldn't make out what was suggested). People hooted and shouted nonstop. Chris said "Security." Hood tickled away at their instruments, waiting. He said, we're not going to start until you quiet down. The crowd obeyed. And then Hood rocked it out for us for the last time that night.

--Alien Rock!

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