LINK OF THE
ME TO YOUR
Hidden Music in the Hood
March 15, 2002
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
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
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.