June 30th, 2007 5:33 pm | by Michael Byrne Music | Posted In: Columns

Yr Mind Being Blown

mindblowingIf Saturday's night of cacophanous glee with D. Yellow Swans and Raccoo-oo-oon has you burning for another fix of musical anarchy, or maybe you missed it entirely (stoo-oo-pid), here's your next awesome: Mind Blowing, a new semi-regular improv night, based out of downtown's Voleur. If the "Mind Blowing" seems a tad presumptuous, the fact that it's being put on by deconstructed folk's finest Tom Greenwood (Jackie-O Motherfucker) and Brian Mumford (Dragging an Ox Through Water), two gentleman that never cease to blow my mind to fucking Saturn, should put you at ease.

When I first heard about this, it sorta sounded like Mind Blowing was a new band between Greenwood and Mumford (a serious "holy shit!" prospect), but I emailed with the latter over the weekend, and he broke it down for us:

Last November, Chris Johanson invited me to play at the opening of a group show(Chris Johanson, Christopher Garrett, Dana Dart-Mclean, Bob Linder, and Dash Snow) he'd curated at Galleri Nicolai Wallner in Copenhagen. The first night I got there, I met Tom [Greenwood] and we sat in the lobby of the hotel drinking Christmas beer and whiskeys-and-Cokes and talking a whole lot. Chris had invited him to play, too, and we decided to just combine our sets, play some familiar songs and also a bunch of improvisations. The Christmas beers and the whiskeys-and-cokes turned out to be a lot more expensive than I'd imagined once I had my head around the exchange rate, but Dana found us there, too, and we stayed longer and I dug into my first serious jetlag experience like a drunk champ. The next day Tom and Dana and I went to Christiania together and walked around looking at the
code-less buildings and getting rained on. Dana turned out to be able to fake Danish direction-giving miraculously well. I think I took a nap before the opening. It was Nicolai, maybe, who found a busted classical guitar by the side of the road. It had a couple of strings on it and Tom wrote "Mind Blowing" on it in black marker and set it behind us. The speakers were blown out on the PAS we were using but it sounded really good. Chris played the Mind Blowing guitar along with us for some of the songs, too.

So that was the birth of it.

After I got back from NYC, and Tom returned from living in the UK, he emailed me about trying to maybe set up some more 'mindblowing' shows. But, this time the idea was to have it be a recurrent event with rotating casts of people. The first one happened on May third of at Voleur and featured friends from Tunnels, Amen Again Amen, Haiku Ambulance, Mustaphamond, Cex Fucx, Le Ton Mite, and Chevron (other members), as well as myself and Tom.. We also had art
from Dana Dart Mclean, Jeff Kriksciun, Chris Rider, and Daniel Osborne as well as some found slide photography.

It's not really so much a 'band' as it is like a pretty loose collective. The main people who seem to be involved in a somewhat central way so far have been Tom, Dana Dart Mclean, Chris Johanson, and myself. As far as instrumentation...it's obviously all over the board. At the last one, where everyone was actually playing together in a drawn out rotating band kind of thing, there was some guitar and some drums and some bass, turntables, contact-mic'd pump organ, lots of effects, passive feedback circuits, electronic percussion, vocals, horns, winds. It was really good and interesting to listen to as well as to play.

I forgot to ask if they still play with the namesake guitar.

Last night's/week'sToday's edition:

8pm at Voleur
111 SW Ash St:

Pale Horse (SF)
Amen Again, Amen (PDX)
Jackie-O Motherfucker (PDX)
New Dark Age (PDX)

then just across the bridge

10:15pm at Rotture
315 SE 3rd Avenue:

The Enablers (former members of SWANS) (SF)
Dragging an Ox through Water (PDX)
Lords of Light (PDX)

It's supposed to be one event, just two different locations.

Links (the ones I could find anyhow):

Dragging an Ox Through Water on the 'space
Jackie-O Motherfucker on the 'space (seriously)
Enablers on the 'space
Amen Again, Amen on the 'space

Photo: Mind Blowing, the game (not affiliated with the experimental music collective)

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