Japan's Hikashu admit to being wizards at The Garrison
If you weren't at the Garrison on Tuesday, you missed the most surreal performance of the season: go ahead and berate yourselves accordingly. Japan's Hikashu freaked me out like the best possible good natured psychedelic carnival haunted house: avant-garde vocalist Makigami Koichi has - I swear this to be true - at least seven people living inside of him: including a guttural voiced wizard of darkness, a small child, a beautiful lady, and - get this, I found him, he's alive - Elvis, the golden voiced King himself. Plus Makigami has a few more small people hidden in his theremin. Creepy.
The whole night focused on masterful vocal exploration. Arrington De Dionyso's Malaikat dan Singa were fire: no effects, none, just three guys making Indonesian avant rock that passed over hippy jam-time boredom zone into an overpowering display of artistic heat and incredible skill. Dionyso (Old Tme Relijun) can throat sing and still pronounce defined (if warbling) lyrics via his bassy tones. Can you even imagine how hard that must be? I was all about their set.
Yet my favorite must have been Toronto's Mary Margaret O'Hara, who performed with Aidan Closs and John Oswald and made wonderful, minimal sound art just by opening and closing her mouth. I wish she was my best friend; it felt like she was during her set. Toronto's Wolfcow opened the show with less investigation of the possibilities of the naked voice as instrument, instead providing daring performance art that riffed on bands everywhere.
Photos by Denise McMullin