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Happiness

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Some of you may remember my visit to Pop Montreal in October, where I discovered this art installation based on Charles Spearin's Happiness Project, in which he recorded interviews with his neighbors and then created music to flow to the natural cadence of their speech. Well, Spearin is now out on tour with his live version of the album, which landed in New York this past weekend. I caught the Sunday night show at Bowery Ballroom, where Spearin was joined onstage by brass and strings; Spearin himself played guitar, bass, and trumpet. I was immediately struck by its similarities to early Steve Reich, blending music and speech through loops and other electronic effects that was somewhere between jazz, classical and experimental, adhering to none. 

After a short set by Years, Ohad Benchetrit's solo project of intricate guitar work occasionally amplified by brass and strings, Spearin and Benchetri were joined by fellow guitarist Justin Small - and all of the above, including a pair of drummers - as headliners Do Make Say Think. As the set wound on, it was easy to tell this was post rock of another plane: tightly scripted, soaring, as complex as anything you'll hear in a concert hall. Each "song" lasted well over ten minutes, building to a huge, ecstatic build that was almost rave-like in its intensity. A Thanksgiving feast, without the bellyache. (More pics below.)DSC04209
 
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  Do Make Say ThinkDSC04256 DSC04230 DSC04248
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