SXSW: Send Donor Eardrums, STAT
Back at Ms. Bea's again on Friday for another incredible daytime lineup. Old Time Relijun played what has been by far my favorite set of the festival. Lead singer Arrington de Dionysos warmed up the vocal chords with some Tuvan throat singing before launching into one of the most intensely funky, noisy, energetic performances I have seen so far. Drummer Germaine Baca somehow managed to hold the whole thing together with remarkably tight percussion as upright bass player Aaron Hartman thumped away on the strings, eyes closed. Arrington gave the front row a view of his tonsils as he howled out his filthy, filthy lyrics (something about "put my tongue deep inside her, just to taste her apple cider") and ended the set in his underwear, scraggly beard flecked with sweat and frothy saliva. Relative newcomer Benjamin Hartman (Aaron's brother) suffered slightly from the sound mix as his skronking sax and clarinet work was buried deep in the sludge, but when his reedwork peeked through the din, it was a welcome addition to the noise. The band keeps getting better and better. Check out "Vampire Victym" on their MySpace page (here) and try jerking your shoulders around a bit. Feel free to speak in tongues, if the spirit moves you.
Above: Arrington hears the word that his kitten sweater must be removed.
Below: Arrington complies and the rock Gods are appeased once again.
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