Courtesy of amvanimere
I had a few brief words with Tunde Adebimpe following his guest appearance at Radio Happy Hour, explaining who I was and what Music Taster's Choice was all about. He responded warmly, as he is a genuinely authentic and congenial person, inviting me to come to his show at Union Pool the following day. Needless to say, I couldn't turn down his invitation and graciously accepted. But what you must know about Stabbing Eastward is that it isn't TV on the Radio and isn't Tunde playing TVoTR songs; Stabbing Eastward is in a category of its own.
I too was not well aware of the sound Stabbing Eastward produced, only what I could manage to find via YouTube but even those videos were grainy with sub par sound quality. It didn't take long into their show that it wasn't going to be the alternative rock I was used to but a mixed blend of electronic, experimental and post-rock. Tunde was seated the entire set, manipulating and mixing his vocals and providing melodic whistling throughout the performance. His counterpart, Ryan Sawyer, provided erratic, almost improvisational drumming to compliment Tunde's vocals and loops; Ryan also provided growling and screeches in the last two songs. In the dark Union Pool, the music was concentrated and mesmerizing. The music was raucous and precise, if that makes sense. Many of us stood there completely still, focusing intently to the music being created. We weren't focused on figuring out the purpose of the music but were basking in the complexity of what ensued. Tunde and Ryan were pretty straightforward, not providing much banter with the crowd except right before the final song; a humorous conversation about pomegranates then took place. As for the performance, I thought it was great since it was something completely independent of TVoTR but performed with the same intensity of a TV on the Radio show would expect to have. Here are the songs that were performed:
Be sure to check back frequently next week for coverage of the CMJ Music Marathon & Film Festival. I'm open to any suggestions about which bands to cover, but with limited availability and an abundant amount of showcases, I'll have to be selective on what I can/cannot attend. Thanks.