February 6th, 2009 5:33 pm | by MARK STOCK Music | Posted In: Columns, Live Cuts, Columns

Wax Fingers and Breakfast Mountain at Holocene, Wed, Feb. 4

IMG_7442There were jokes about how the only fans at the show were friends or family.

Until a few people interjected, asking collectively, "what about us?"

Modesty aside, Wax Fingers confidently kick-started a fine evening and they did it in the company of many. The Portland trio (the laptop, parked front and center, makes four) favors the spacey and ethereal, often constructing a melodic theme only to juggle it forcefully for several minutes before wrestling it to the ground.

Heading the tsunami is Tommy Franzen, drumming the pace and magnifying each of the many shifts Wax Fingers engages in. And the band was always "all in," crushing any rumors of extensive time off and ringing out each track militantly. The looped lava lamp footage screened behind them spoke of their psych-rock inclinations—artsy, jammy, and solid. The frenzy stopped only briefly, for a brief breath and to pay homage to one Lebron James, a man "of athletic prowess second to none." Cue a five-minute, dunk-ridden highlight reel of the Cleveland Cavaliers superhuman; set to Fingers' pumped-up and grabby electric articulations.

Next up, Breakfast Mountain. A band of friendly samples and frayed edges. Like a drunken conversation, bits and pieces were profound. They set up shop in front of the stage, surrounded by a circle of dancing witnesses in Holocene's pit. At times lost and choppy, and at others super catchy and woven of clever clips and recordings, Breakfast Mountain was of two heads. But that's precisely what drew the crowd that much closer.

Wax FingersSpace
Breakfast MountainSpace

Photos courtesy of Mark Stock
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