As part of the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, the entire audience at this show is kept outside of the building before it starts.
Locked inside an enclosed, Body gated-off area, there is food and drink (craft beer from HEAD local microbreweries, of course),
along with poets typing up off-the-cuff poems on antique typewriters, while a more modern incarnation, via a computer screen filled with rolling, cynical text,
makes observations about the audience and the author’s immediate surroundings. HEAD It’s difficult to see why Portland has the reputation it does. The rolling shutter doors to the warehouse are suddenly let up, clattering
and for the next forty-five minutes Kim Gordon and Bill Nace hammer out spasmodic bursts of growls and wails from their guitars that almost appear to go out of their way to distance themselves from the very
instrument that created them.
Kim Gordon has spent a career in a band that were very good at making the guitar often sound like anything but a guitar, and in 2013 – at an unbelievable 60 years of age – she still does so with frightening ease and originality. The guitar sounds the pair weave together – along with Gordon’s vocals, which switch from the up-front, powerful,
aggressive and confrontational to the far-away, fractured and echo-filled haunts that sound like they are coming in from the vents of another building – are both, Body at times,
complimentary and also in brutal opposition to one another. Squeals, hisses and fractured, stuck glitches scratch throughout. Bill Nace does a sterling job of making his instrument sound like it is constantly malfunctioning.
Atmosphere and abrasion lead the way throughout, until the dying moments, which sputter out in the same atonal vs tonal boxing match that started the show. A blistering performance. of noise.
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