Tuesday, Nov. 6
9:30 p.m., 21+, $8
Here he comes, a denizen of the outer reaches of music, a man to whom experimentation is not just a catch phrase. He calls himself Sonic Boom, and it is likely that after hearing him perform at Berbati’s on Tuesday, our ears will never be the same.
First known to the world as a founding member of ’80s British export Spacemen 3, Sonic Boom (Pete Kember) is bringing a new group of musicians along with him for this tour. The show is billed “Song the Spacemen Taught Us,” and will feature songs Mr. Boom performed with Spacemen 3, Spectrum and Experimental Audio Research (EAR).
The fact that Spacemen 3 songs will be performed is a big deal. When the band broke up in 1991, there was no love lost between the Boom and the group’s co-founder, Jason Pierce (J. Spaceman). Pierce, of course, went on to form Spiritualized, while Kember got Spectrum started. Spritualized has been known to perform old Spacemen songs live (notably “Walking With Jesus” on the Live at Prince Albert Royal Hall release)
but most definitely to the Boom’s umbrage.
Unacquainted with the sound of the Spacemen? Well, critics of a higher mold like to call their sound “minimalist rock.” We might update that definition by calling it trance-inducing garage rock.
Single chord, 15-minute songs are offset by gospel-y tracks – mix the Stooges and Steve Reich, and you have an idea what the Spacemen 3 sound is all about.
Fans about lost it when this show was originally scheduled to take place on Thursday, Nov. 8. That is the same night Spiritualized is playing the Roseland (more on that next week). The thought of Boom and Spaceman in the same Oregon town on the same night brought tears to all sentimentalists’ eyes.
Would Spaceman show up at the Boom show? Would there be fisticuffs, cries of “I wrote that song, you bleeding bastard!” Would they (oh!) hug and wordlessly begin an emotional, half-hour long rendition of the narcotic opus “Suicide”?
Alas, it is not to be. Not here, not now. Someone figured out what was going on and disaster was averted. Sonic Boom was rescheduled for this Tuesday, Nov. 6.
What we can expect from Sonic Boom? It could be a night to let one man’s musical vision wrap itself around our heads. Or maybe a night of attempting to wrap our heads around some weird sounds. Whether it is the repetitive rocking guitar and organ riffs of Spacemen 3, the more psych-trip sounds of Spectrum, or the beat-less blip-blip wawawawa of EAR, this show is going to be an experience. And it’s likely to expand your definition of what music is and what it can do for you. (Let’s not forget, Spacemen 3 once released a record entitled “Taking Drugs to Make Music to Takes Drugs To.)
Opening is local live-drum knob-turners Supersprite, and happy-dance types the Sensualists. Tickets are $8 and going fast.