Random acts

Of note

The joy of throwing: Local heavy-music hybrid Throwing Myself — featuring former members of Estedy (Brien Worsham and Derek Anderson) and Send for August (Travis Moss and Brad Gaddy) — has recently launched its Web site. For more information about the group, which bills itself as “a band for all you love birds [who] hate each other,” visit www.throwingmyself.com.

Front-row reviews

What: Reductio Ad Absurdum, opening for Dig Shovel Dig and Ahleuchatistas

Where: Vincent’s Ear

When: Friday, April 4

It’s rare for a band to make an instantly memorable song.

It’s even more uncommon for a group to make such a song that grabs an audience by its collective shirt lapels, head-butts it on the bridge of its collective nose, and then keeps its mass of victims paying stunned attention for the remainder of the show.

Reductio Ad Absurdum‘s music works so well live because the band never veers too far from fundamental melodies of its drum-driven dark-jazz songs. Instead of delivering the loose, gummy feel of a jam band, Absurdum gives off all the rhythmic urgency of a punk group — though subverting that perception every so often with a solo of maddeningly variable tone colors.

Great swaths of sax and moody torrents of Theremin, bass riffs like overpowered water-pistol squirts to the eye and keyboard solos possessed of near-demonic verve — yet this sonic blitz is produced by a mere trio of musicians, including a drummer pounding away with burning percussive alacrity.

Absurdum — Ben Shirley (Theremin, sax, flute), Justin Whitlow (drums, various special effects) and Adon Wallace (bass, keyboards) — played to a relatively large mix of Vincent’s Ear listeners. The group seems to have slowly found its niche in what appears to be a full-on local-music instrumental-rock movement (which also includes The Ether Bunnies, Delicious and — to a certain extent — jazz-metal bands like Les Jamehlo).

The Listening Room (album reviews)

Placebo, Discount Plastic Surgery (broken fader cartel, 2003).

Discount Plastic Surgery‘s first full-length release, Placebo, is the best local album I’ve yet found to write to.

I’ve listened to it on a repeating loop for the better part of a weekend, and I’m still not bored with it. It’s just aggressive enough to keep you in a forward-moving groove, yet it’s still overwhelmingly relaxing electronica.

Placebo, mildly dark and momentum-heavy, is much more accessible if slightly less experimental than Discount Plastic Surgery’s self-titled debut from last year. This markedly consistent new album is masterful at establishing a mood just between soundtrack music for an action-movie car-racing sequence and the perfect aural background to a game of solitaire. Placebo manages an urban feel without being insultingly pop-hop-oriented in the process.

If you’re dying for a pop-music comparison, the new album feels similar at moments to Aphex Twin at their most brooding. Placebo never gets to quite the same place, however, staying just this side of fully ambient.

In other words, this is exactly the kind of music to listen to as you fall asleep — assuming you’d like to have dreams about being a cyber-punk anime hero running through the rain-slicked nighttime streets of a city lit by endless strings of neon.

Or, in a pinch, you could use it as something to listen to while you type.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

For more information on Discount Plastic Surgery, visit www.foreignbody.com/bands/dps.


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