Monday To-Do: Lightning Bolt | Rock Candy

Monday, July 12, 2010

Monday To-Do: Lightning Bolt

Posted By on Mon, Jul 12, 2010 at 6:19 AM

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LIGHTNING BOLT
8 p.m., ACAC. $10 adv., $12 d.o.s.

Far and away, Lightning Bolt has put on one of the single greatest shows I've ever seen. Ever. Ask anyone who's seen the deafening free-jazz duo recently; they'll probably tell you the exact same thing right after they tell you to speak up a bit louder. Seeing these guys live is a pummeling, freakish exercise in balancing pain — real, physical, auditory pain — with a wide-eyed appreciation for their virtuosity at playing hard, fast and loud. It's an assault of noise with one foot in Sonic Youth's most terroristic, early moments of aural provocation and another in the skronkiest parts of Ornette Coleman's free jazz, all done with an avant-garde intellect from the school of Krzysztof Penderecki. Did I mention how loud it is? It's so loud that the two members wear ear safety headsets made for marksmen and airport runway workers. The bassist runs his guitar (strapped with two bass strings and two banjo strings) through as many amps as he can get his hands on, turned as loud as he can, while the drummer yelps through a telephone pickup embedded in a knit mask strapped to his head. (This drummer, by the way, is the most incredible percussionist I've ever seen. Bar none.) But through all the pontification, they're still a ridiculous, abrasive, chaotic mess of a band, albeit one with a ridiculous, abrasive chaotic mess that's sent them around the world many, many times over to play for thousands at a time. So when you can see an act of this caliber at a place like the ACAC, you're practically required to go; $12 isn't a bad price for an epiphany. Transmography, Austin's left-field dance musicians; Cracker Creeptacular, sludgy indie-poppers, and local power-duo Androids of Ex-Lovers open.

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