September 15th, 2008 5:33 pm | by NILINA MASON-CAMPBELL Music | Posted In: Columns, Live Cuts, Columns

Live Review: Old Time Relijun, Ghosts & Mysteries, Will Carpenter's Towering Trees at Lewis and Clark College, Sunday, Sept. 14 2008

IMG_0876 Lookout below! Last night Lewis and Clark College's student radio station KLC threw a free show just outside the studio, complete with giveaways and an un-utilized barbecue. Activities kicked off at 7:30 pm on the dot with Will Carpenter's Towering Trees—a trio consisting of Will Carpenter flanked by two bandmates assisting on guitar, bass and drums. The band opened with previous Cut of the Day "In the Clouds" before making its way into a handful of other melodic indie songs just outside the radio station and a computer lab.

Next up was Ghosts & Mysteries, who I've been wanting to catch live for way too long. When I first took a listen to the Ghosts & Mysteries Myspace, I got an Ariel Pink vibe from the vocals and lo-fi production. However, live it was more a case of Animal Collective. While usually a solo project of Travis Hill, last night the project was augmented by two friends filling in. Before launching into song, the threesome began their set with the reading of a spooky passage of text in the same vain as the Ghosts & Mysteries name. Only a lantern with a hesitant flame could've made for a more spine-tingling reading. The set was short, but long enough for the boys to pick up guitars, horns and a curious echoing toy to compliment their three CD-R strong catalog. The pop strums of "Hey Dad" reminded me a bit of Vampire Weekend, but not in a bad way, especially when accompanied by abstract vocals reminiscent of Animal Collective's "Leaf House." While I watched, I couldn't help but think the show would be more enjoyable if everyone in attendance came closer to the band, as the crowd was mostly scattered on rocks and on brick tiles several feet away from them. Also, the visceral vibe of Ghost & Mysteries could have used some additional percussion objects to pass out to the crowd. The songs themselves almost demand that this isn't so much a band to watch, but an experience to be part of.

Last but not least was Old Time Relijun, who went on shortly after 9 pm. As soon as it was clear the band was on the verge of beginning, five young fellows took steps closer, and for a moment I thought they might have formed a pre-planned dance troupe, since it was the first sign of movement from the crowd all night. With eyes wild, frontman Arrington de Dionyso announced each song in the form of a dissertation—complete with tricky vocab strong together in a nonsensical form in a play on the college location of the show. In front of me one boy flailed with seizure-like dance moves in interpretation of the squawking saxophone. Campus police showed up midway through the quartet's set. Rather than shutting the shindig down, both officers stood just inside the doorway smiling, before leaving a song later with a skip in their step. The night ended with de Dionyso trading his electric strings for a saxophone and closing with a solo of sorts—but only if drummer Germaine Baca's sliding of a water bottle down the neck of de Dionyso's discarded guitar doesn't count as accompaniment.

Old Time RelijunSpace
Ghosts & MysterieSpace
Will Carpenter's Towering TreeSpace
Ghosts & Mysteries - "I'd Rather Be in Bed" Cut of the Day

Photos by Nilina Mason-Campbell
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